Category Archives: Duh!

Pussified.

Stop stand-up urination for men, Swedish politicians urge

by Lauren O’Neil Posted: June 14, 2012 4:30 PM  CBC Community Blog

Some Swedish politicians say that standing up to empty one’s bladder is unsanitary and less healthy for a man than sitting down. (Blend_Images/iStockphoto)A Swedish political party is taking a stand against upright urination.

At a county council meeting Monday, the Left Party, or Vänsterpartiet, tabled a motion that would require office washrooms to be genderless with a sit-down-only requirement, reported the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå.

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Fail 101: Prof Cameron Johnston misses the point of his own class lecture. Fail 102: York University fails as a inculcator of knowledge.

York University Social Sciences and Humanities Prof Cameron Johnston, in Toronto, created an apparent firestorm when a student, not paying attention, heard him say “all Jews should be sterilized”, when he used the statement as an example of a type of opinion that someone should not be entitled to hold (for the record, Johnston, being Jewish, does not not believe, nor is he saying “all Jews should be sterilized”, as a matter of his personal opinion). The student, offended by what she thought she heard, complained to an on-campus Jewish organization, which immediately called for Johnston to be fired.

Johnston was compelled to issue the following statement in order to put context to his remarks:

Statement from Professor Cameron Johnston
September 13, 2011

“In lecture, I discussed that the course focuses on the texts and not “opinions”. In fact, I stated that for this course opinions are not relevant and I questioned the common idea that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I pointed out that everyone is not entitled to their opinion by giving the example of someone having an anti-semitic opinion which is clearly not acceptable. This was an example of the fact that opinions can be dangerous and that none of us really do believe that all opinions are acceptable.

For the record, I am also Jewish which undoubtedly influenced my choice of this example of a reprehensible opinion.

Regards,
Cameron Johnston

BUT, accusations of bigotry and general handwringing aside, the course gets off on the wrong foot from the beginning, and Prof Johnston has some explaining to do about the opinions he does hold, especially as an instructor at a Canadian, publicly-funded university.

From his statement:

In lecture, I discussed that the course focuses on the texts and not “opinions”. In fact, I stated that for this course opinions are not relevant and I questioned the common idea that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
I pointed out that everyone is not entitled to their opinion by giving the example of someone having an anti-semitic opinion which is clearly not acceptable. [Emphasis mine - Ed.]

Concepts of freedom of expression enshrined in the Charter, Common Law, and the American First Amendment do not speak to the quality of free speech. Indeed, many popularly held opinions, even innocuous ones, are relevant only to certain individuals and allied groups. Who decides whose opinion is not acceptable? I care little for the opinions of truthers, neo-nazis, most liberals, and a whole range of people who don’t think as I do (and arguably, don’t think at all), and while I might not find their opinions acceptable to me, they are their opinions, and they are entitled to them.

By the same token, a good many people don’t share my opinions on many things. That is a matter of fact, not my opinion. As has to be pointed out over and over again, its the actions taken from one’s beliefs and opinions that matter. There was a time when debating opinions used to be called the “Age of Enlightenment”.

The fundamental question at play here is whether a professor at a Canadian university should act as arbiter of what constitutes an “acceptable” opinion at any time. Johnston wasn’t running a course on the impact and sociology of commonly held opinions in western civilizations. His comment was only an aside to whatever the theme of his lecture was.

Its troubling that Canada’s overwhelmingly liberal academia still believes it has a mandate to regulate speech. The fundamental freedoms that give Prof. Johnston the ability to stand in his class and prognosticate, are the very freedoms he’s prepared to deny to others who don’t share his particular group-think.

The irony is that the very dis-entitlement he is willing to apply, would equally apply to him: he’s not entitled to hold the opinion that some may not be entitled to hold their opinion – so say those who find his opinion “unacceptable”.

As for the student – the student is apparently a final year student, whose behavior on several levels in this is certainly below what one would expect from a graduate of a Canadian university, and she is going to have to deal with the fallout of her actions. It would be hoped that she had acquired a more refined sense of clarity in her thinking processes by the time she nears graduation.

But then, that’s just my opinion.

CAUT Responds to Ud’O Provost Francois Houle

The sh!tstorm continues over the University of Ottawa’s treatment of Ann Coulter, in her three-city speaking tour of Canada.   While it speaks loudly all on its own that Ms Coulter could not be safely accommodated in Canada’s capital, there is heavy discussion on both sides of the border about Liberal Alan Rock’s university, the University of/d’Ottawa and its treatment of her (that’s Allan of the 2-billion Bill C68 firearms registration boondoggle, now president of Ud’O.  Ud’O is also the cloistered lair of Errol Mendes, and Amir Attaran – google for fun).

As we reported in a previous post (and here and here), Coulter received a preposterous and arrogant letter from the Ud’O Provost, basically telling Ann to zip her lip lest she be charged with hate speech under the Criminal Code. The letter, of course, traveled around Canada and the world faster than a U.N. pandemic, holding not only the Ud’O in ill repute, but Academia in general.

This hasn’t escaped the notice of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, whose president, Penni Stewart, and executive director, James L. Turk, issued a stern rebuke addressed directly to Dr. Houle (and a not so veiled driveby to the rest of Canada’s academics), and “posted on the Association’s website. The letter reads:

March 22, 2010

Dr. Francois Houle
Vice-President Academic and Provost
University of Ottawa
Room 217A Tabaret Hall
550 Cumberland
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6N5

Dear Dr. Houle:

We are deeply disturbed by your correspondence with Ann Coulter regarding her speaking engagement at the University of Ottawa tomorrow. Your admonishing her about speech rights in Canada raises serious questions about the University of Ottawa’s respect for freedom of expression and academic freedom.

The purpose of a university is aptly captured in the University of Toronto’s statement on the “Purpose of the University”:

Within the unique university context, the most crucial of all human rights are the rights of freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of research. And we affirm that these rights are meaningless unless they entail the right to raise deeply disturbing questions and provocative challenges to the cherished beliefs of society at large and of the university itself.

Ms. Coulter certainly does raise disturbing questions and provocative challenges. While many of us profoundly disagree with her, a university should welcome controversial speakers and vigorous debate, not seek to restrict discourse or speakers.

We feel you owe an apology to Ms. Coulter and, even more importantly, you owe the University of Ottawa community an assurance that the administration of the University strongly supports freedom of expression, academic freedom and views the role of the university as fostering and defending these values.

Yours truly,

Penni Stewart
President

James L. Turk
Executive Director

Strong words from a faculty that tends to wear its lefthandedness on its shirt like a badge (acknowledged in the letter), while prosletysing its moral relativism to rest of us.

Much more fun stuff at Takebackyourschool.wordpress.com.

The Truth Shall Set You Free.

Ann Coulter came to Ottawa to speak last night, and Ottawa’s Bolsheviks decided she shouldn’t. After the international incident created by the University of Ottawa’s Provost, you might have thought that a Canadian university might have had the intellectual enthusiasm to debate the pros, cons and nuances of her presentation. You’d be wrong. Free speech doesn’t exist in Canada. The divisive, ignorant bullies of Canada’s liberal left and our pravda-like mainstream media will see to it that there is only one truth to every story.

Canadian “media” this morning are reporting that “thousands” of protesters blocked Coulter from speaking and resulted in the meeting being cancelled, that she was jeered and boo’d in London (the actual phrase should be cheered and boo’d…).

Oddly, those that were actually there, have a very different view. The following excerpts are from comments of actual attendees at the event, taken from the commentary this morning on SDA.

I was at the event tonight. It was kind of sad. I guess we have “freedom of speech-ish”. I never got inside but I can say I didn’t really see anything that wild outside.

I was in a lineup from 7:10 pm onward waiting to get in. I was never much more then 100 feet from the front of the building. There were two long lines to get in. One for those of us that registered and one for walkups (which was looonngggg).

I didn’t see any sticks or rocks. Around 7:20 a group of maybe 30 protesters showed up with a chant. There were some sympathetic voices lined up in the walk up line. I don’t know if they were “protesters” or not.

There was chants about no more racism or islamophobia. There were some strong chants back from the crowd lined up for free speech.

Sometime 10 or 15 minutes later the fire department showed up. Some poor lone security guard announced that the fire alarm had gone off and tried to get the lineups to back up. He wasn’t very successful. 10 minutes later the firetrucks were gone.

Shortly after 8 the police showed up with campus security to announce the event was canceled, and to clear the front entrance area so the people inside could leave.

The only thing I know about the events inside was overhead from a student who left after it was canceled. He was interviewed by a CBC reporter. I don’t know if this any of this is true but the student said (from memory)

“that the hall was only half full when the fire alarm had gone off. At some point student protesters inside had knocked down a table across a doorway acting as a barricade. Campus security had to physically block the doorway to keep the protesters out.”

It didn’t sound like there was many protesters inside. Outside there was maybe 50 people gathered after the event had been canceled. It was was fairly tame when I left around 8:30.”

When I heard Coulter was coming to Canada I figured attending the event would be worth the entertainment value, if for nothing other than to witness the unhinged reaction that was sure to follow. Ottawa U didn’t disappoint.

When I arrived there was a line of a few hundred, maybe a thousand people outside the Marion building. A few of them were chanting in front of the cameras but the line was otherwise better behaved than for a typical rock concert. The size of the line was no doubt a bit of a problem because the room held no more than 400 (my estimate).

Since I had registered for the event ahead of time I had no trouble elbowing my way to the front, verifying my name was on the list, getting inside and chatting briefly with Ezra Levant.

After a while the fire alarm went off, the obvious false alarm having been dealt with we sat down expecting the event to start.

Instead Ezra announced that police told him it would be “physically unsafe” to bring Ann in due to the “unruly mob” outside. There was certainly no issue, or even noise, inside the auditorium.

Since I was inside at that point I don’t know how unruly they became outside. But this is the national capital, just a few blocks from Parliament Hill, the US Embassy, the Prime Minister’s Residence and countless embassies. The police surely have the capability to respond to anyone threatening a woman with dozens of TV cameras around. Instead, they chose to cancel the event instead.

After leaving the auditorium (from a side entrance, as the police insisted), I walked back out front to see what the commotion was.

A lone policewoman standing on the step asked me to leave after I took her picture. I did leave, after expressing disbelief that they canceled the event over what appeared to be a few dozen pathetic protesters chanting in front of the nearby cameras.

A truly pathetic situation all around.

I was just outside the door to the auditorium waiting to get in since I had registered. Most of the students had not registered and were told they would not get in because their name was not on the registration list. Those students did not leave, even after the fire alarm went off (set off intentionally to disrupt the event??), and despite the request of security and the lone policewoman.

Most were polite and patient but there was a small but very vocal group agitating. If the doors had been opened I am sure there would have been a mad rush and several hundred kids would have streamed in. One organizer at the door said it was cancelled because it was not a safe situation. This remark was booed.

A contingent of police did come, I estimate about 5 of them about 20 min after the fire alarm. No firemen. We were then told after an hour of waiting, the event was canceled. Still no one left for about 15-20 min. I was told by security that Ann Coulter did not set foot in Marion Hall.

While waiting outside, a group of students were handing out anti-racism, anti-islamaphobia, anti-hate buttons and posters trying to get people riled up. Only about 1 in 5 or 6 accepted.

Not one student I asked had a read a book she had written or could identify exactly what hate speech she actually said. Clips of you tube videos of “hateful” things were cited.

As A Canadian these leftard creeps have shamed me and tarnished Canada’s reputation for tolerance. What we witnessed tonight was anti-intellectual intolerance of the most uncivil and subversive kind.

Question: who turned off the police capability to establish order in this nation’s capital?

I just feel disgust at this moment

Hell, I don’t even particularly like Coulter but this kind of reactionary violence over such petty issues reveals a dangerous uncivil neurosis infecting our Campuses.

Ann Coulter has managed to hold a mirror to the whole world focusing on the intolerance in the soul of Canadian Universities in regards to conservatives or free speech, for that matter.
Anyone expecting unbiased reporting of Ann Coulter’s Canadian tour from Canadian MSM is being delusional.
The few CTV yappers I watched, could not hide their animosity to Coulter.

I was outside. It was not unruly at all! Not even in the slightest. 20-30 students were protesting, while hundreds of people were quietly hoping to get in to see Ann. That’s it!

I was there just a few hours ago, in the line-up with a friend. There weren’t “thousands” of protesters, as the Star et al report. Perhaps 40 or 50. Most of us were lined up quietly. We had to wait 45 minutes or more, listening to those fascists chant. Some of us yelled, (after they said, “No more hate speech”) “Then LEAVE!” I got some laughs when I said, after hearing the word “discrimination”, “Bet you can’t spell that!” and, a little while later, “I want my tax dollars back!” We also chanted, “Free Speech, Free Speech” back at them for quite a while.

The protesters behaved so badly. They chanted “hate speech” over and over. When the security was moving us down the steps, about 20 of them took the opportunity to rush in the door behind security. That’s probably what got security scared. Some were wearing chic Palestinian scarves. They crammed the front entrance and made it hard for the registered to get in. They chanted, “You won’t get in. You won’t get in.” They race-baited: one obvious Coulter fan bravely yelled, “Shut the f. . . up!” after a pompous speech by the main speaker and we all laughed; then one of the protesters said, “You’re a white man and you’re gonna tell me to shut up!” So my friend (bless her East-Indian, Jamaican soul) yelled, “I’M NOT WHITE!” That quieted them for a while. We were all told to dispurse by security, because the 600-hundred sitting inside already had to get out. One man spoke in a very frustrated manner to the police, saying to one of them, “You should do better with security! You let this happened in Cornwall too!”

I was so frustrated, watching those thugs stand there cheering when the word got out that the speech was cancelled, that I yelled at them, “You Liberal Fascists!” Someone with dreadlocks started for me, but a police man got inbetween and said, “Let’s not start anything here.” My friend and I walked the few blocks back to our car, muttering away about the whole business.

We were deprived of our right to see Ann Coulter speak. Many U of O students in that line-up wanted to hear her speak, and were deprived of that by a few fascists in their university who chose to pretend to represented all the students.

It was an embarassing night for Canada. Our security should have been better, and those thugs, going to a university that’s supposed to allow a free-flowing of ideas, should have behaved better.

What happened was wrong. It was chilling. I felt I was watching fascist youth in action.

… It was just a small group that was agitating. Most students were very interested in what Ann had to say. Really interested.

I was right beside the guy who overturned the table hoping to get others with him to storm the door. No takers. He was huge and had told me earlier he had registered and was with the Egyptian student union/club. Security hustled him out of there pretty quick. No other student pushed in after him because if so they would have been able to enter the auditorium.

Hardly any hooligans, a small number of protesters, just insufficient planning and no security/police to actually organize lines, check names and get this event going.

Pathetic

I was outside all night. There was a handful of pathetic little turds that were screeching outside – but nothing that could in any wat be construed as intimidating. They were a joke.

Look. I’m pissed off. I registered in advance and travelled 60 miles with friends to hear Ann Coulter speak – and it didn’t happen. What’s worse, there is NOTHING that happened at Ottawa U tonight that could in any way be construed as a security issue.

This keeps happening on University campuses. You have gutless, jelly-like administrations (who don’t want speakers like Coulter there to begin with) backed up by hopeless security. They look for any excuse to shut things down.

So here’s my advice. Don’t hold these events on University grounds. Hold them out in the rural areas and let local Landowner Associations handle the pre-registration, admission and security. End of problems… and everybody gets to hear the speaker.

I watched Coulter on Michael Coren last night. I agree with his sentiment; certainly not that of the moron from the U of O. Michael was there too.

Ann Coulter: “I was hoping for a fruit basket, not a threat to prosecute”

Ann Coulter writes in Breitbart’s Big Government about the mendaciously stupid letter she received from one Francois Houle, Vice-President Academic and Provost, Universite d’Ottawa, basically advising Ms. Coulter to STFU, and implicitly, go home.

Dear Ms. Coulter,

I understand that you have been invited by University of Ottawa Campus Conservatives to speak at the University of Ottawa this coming Tuesday. We are, of course, always delighted to welcome speakers on our campus and hope that they will contribute positively to the meaningful exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of a great university campus. We have a great respect for freedom of expression in Canada, as well as on our campus, and view it as a fundamental freedom, as recognized by our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I would, however, like to inform you, or perhaps remind you, that our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or “free speech”) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here. You will realize that Canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression. For example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges. Outside of the criminal realm, Canadian defamation laws also limit freedom of expression and may differ somewhat from those to which you are accustomed. I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind. There is a strong tradition in Canada, including at this University, of restraint, respect and consideration in expressing even provocative and controversial opinions and urge you to respect that Canadian tradition while on our campus. Hopefully, you will understand and agree that what may, at first glance, seem like unnecessary restrictions to freedom of expression do, in fact, lead not only to a more civilized discussion, but to a more meaningful, reasoned and intelligent one as well.

I hope you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country, city and campus.

Sincerely,

François Houle
Vice-recteur aux études / Vice-President Academic and Provost
Université d’Ottawa / University of Ottawa
550, rue Cumberland Street
Ottawa (ON) K1N 6N5
téléphone / telephone : 613 562-5737
télécopieur / fax : 613 562-5103
e-mail: francois.houle@uottawa.ca

Now, except for French-speaking Ottawa bureaucrats, Liberal bagmen, and college wannabees who absolutely couldn’t get into anywhere else, The University of Ottawa has never been more than a sycophantic enclave for the (Ottawa) Valley grrls, and as an institution of higher learning, is generally ranked slightly below Sesame Street.

But even this is over the top for U of O/U’dO.

Mark Steyn deliciously tramples on this on his webpage:

What a sad and embarrassing letter, even by the standards of the Canadian academy. Does M Houle write to all University of Ottawa speakers like this? Or does he reserve his telekinetic powers to detect “pre-crime” only for the ideologically suspect?

I’ve no idea what Ann Coulter’s reaction to this letter is, but I suspect it’s “Go ahead, Princess Fairy Pants, make my day.” M Houle would have a very hard time persuading the Ottawa police or the RCMP to lay criminal charges over an Ann Coulter speech because they realize, even if he doesn’t, that Canada doesn’t need to become even more of an international laughingstock in this area. More likely is a complaint to the Canadian and/or Ontario “Human Rights” Commissions. But you know something? I don’t get the feeling they’d be eager to re-ignite the free speech wars on a nuclear scale. Think of Ezra’s and my appearance in the House of Commons, and then imagine the scene when Miss Coulter testifies. So the threat is an empty one and M Houle seems to be being – oh, what’s the “respectful and civil” way of putting it? – a posturing wanker.

This is the pitiful state one of the oldest free societies on the planet has been reduced to, and this is why our free speech campaign matters – because those who preside over what should be arenas of honest debate and open inquiry instead wish to imprison public discourse within ever narrower bounds – and in this case aren’t above threatening legal action against those who dissent from the orthodoxies. Lots of Americans loathe Ann Coulter but it takes a Canadian like François Houle to criminalize her. The strictures he attempts to place around her, despite his appeal to “Canadian law”, are at odds with the eight centuries of Canada’s legal inheritance. Canadians should point that out to him politely, and explain that, although he lives high off the hog courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer, he does not speak for them.
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As I say, be polite but withering. He has after all explicitly threatened a visitor to Canada from a friendly country in a manner more suited to banana republic police chiefs.

And, if he insists his threats are not mere masturbatory posturing, tell him to contact Chief Commissar Jennifer Lynch, QC direct, and advise her that I’ll be covering the hearing.

Michael Coren:

World-renowned journalist Ann Coulter is coming to speak in Canada on Monday and is giving me an exclusive one-hour interview on The Michael Coren Show. In this country our publicly funded universities regularly host speakers who accuse Catholics of being murderers and child-rapists, evangelicals of being bigots and Gay-bashers, Zionists of being genocidal madmen and conservatives of being mentally ill and sadistic. There have been calls for Christians to be killed, pro-lifers have been threatened and silenced, scientists who question global warming have been banned and Jewish students report being frightened of being publicly identified. In this context I bring you a letter written by the Vice-President of the University of Ottawa to the award-winning and best-selling author Ms Coulter. As she herself said today, “The provost of u of ottawa is threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech there on monday before I’ve even set foot in canada!”…”

Mondo bizarro, extended: some students of the University of Western Ontario, equally upset that a free-voiced conservative could dare to speak openly at yet another leftist dink-tank, has set up a blog ostensibly for the purpose of offsetting her stated views, while supporting democracy. An anonymous poster “Voting Woman”, ends her diatribe with:

Ann Coulter laughs in the face of democracy, I thank the creators of this blog for trying to restore it.

It should be delightfully noted that comments are off for this and all other posts, and on a page entitled Other Viewpoints, the following rejoinder is appended:

[Note: the above blog comments came in before we decided that we only would be accepting submissions via e-mail]

LOL! nothing like the filtered truth served up hot and spicy… to make you feel, well, democratic.

Party on, Ann.

Update – from Michael Coren, after his interview with Coulter (airs tonight 6PM Mar. 23/10 CTS TV)

coren 003

I’ve interviewed many people over the years. Ann Coulter is one of the most gracious, witty, interesting and original I’ve had the privilege to meet. Just in case you assume this verdict is politically motivated, I found my interview on the TV show with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams a couple of months ago to be fascinating as well!

Kathy Shaidle has her take on the UWO show last night. Try her “pop quiz” and see how you do…

Hmmm, where’d we leave the matches and rope?

Video: The obligatory “Dan Rather mumbles something about Obama and watermelons” clip

Hot Air: posted at 4:49 pm on March 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

Limbaugh played the audio this afternoon and now it’s anywhere and everywhere. Ironically, it’s the fact that it’s so cringeworthy that makes me think it was innocently intended: Had Document Dan meant to take a veiled racial swipe at Obama, he surely would have veiled it more thoroughly than this. (Same with Clinton supposedly saying of The One, “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”) Lacking the left’s ability to read minds, I feel obliged to give him a pass — although I suppose we could compromise and say he’s guilty of unconscious racism, where the audience gets to tell the speaker what he “really” intended. Good enough for “Countdown,” good enough for me.

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