Friday, August 10, 2012

The death of ethnic humour

After Muslims "energetically" protested cartoons about themselves, the attack on humor seems to have gained a new lease on life.  As the episode below illustrates, any jokes at the expense of a minority come under huge attack and are rapidly censored.

The story below concerns jokes about Australian Aborigines, a group of  people virtually unknown outside Australia. Ethnic jokes of course center on characteristics widely ascribed to the group concerned so non-Australians would simply be puzzled by most of the jokes.

Nonetheless there was a worldwide pile-on to the jokes concerned by the Left-dominated media, resulting in the jokes being taken down by Facebook, their host.

To assist informed debate, I think I need to give examples of what was censored.  Via a Google image search, I have recovered some of the cartoons but putting them up would be futile as any image host would undoubtedly take them down again.  So what I will do is reproduce just some of the texts without the accompanying illustrations.
Back in my day meth was a drink

Methylated spirits is ethyl alcohol with a small amount of poisonous methyl alcohol added, akin to rubbing alcohol in the USA. It is used for cleaning etc. but Aborigines have been known to drink it for a cheap high.

"I think we're out of petrol" says white car driver.  Aboriginal in back seat says "Sorry"

Petrol is gasoline.  Petrol-sniffing is a pervasive form of  substance abuse among young Aborigines

"Sense of ownership is so white".  Complains when white folk take his land

Some Aborigines do say both those things

"Been here 40 thousand years.  Invented a stick"

Aborigines were still very primitive when white men arrived.

Oh!  You're Aboriginal.  Please tell me more about how I'm a white c*nt"

Words put into the mouth of a white comedian.  Aborigines are in general exceptionally polite but such utterances can be heard from Aboriginal activists, who in general have only a small amount of Aboriginal ancestry

As almost any evening  of viewing TV advertisements will show you, it is perfectly permissible  to mock white men as stupid, clumsy etc. so why not mock other groups in similar ways?  Why the double standard?  Answer:  There is no standard.  The Leftist aim is to  tear everyone down a similar low level and anything goes in pursuit of that.  And the media are solidly onboard with that discriminatory aim.

An excerpt from one of the media reports follows:
Facebook exploded yesterday, with users angrily reporting a page called "Aboriginal Memes" that makes racist "jokes" about Australia's indigenous people.

The page, which has over 4000 Likes, shows pictures of Aboriginal people with supposedly "funny" captions that reference petrol and begging.

In spite of reports pouring in from angry users, though, Facebook's response was to do just enough to show that it doesn't actually care.

After 5pm GMT +10, Facebook started emailing reporters with the following message:

Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

However, the Facebook Community Standards document clearly states:

Facebook does not permit hate speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events and practices, it is a serious violation to attack a person based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

At approximately 9.30pm GMT +10, Facebook removed any posts linking to the page, and the page itself disappeared — only to reappear around two hours later, with its name changed to "[Controversial Humor] Aboriginal Memes". [And that is down now too]


Note that the jokes were NOT in breach of Facebook rules in that no individual was targeted.

Little Green Lies

Introduction to a new book from Australia

Fibre network does the usual shuffle for a government enterprise

Escalating costs and delayed completion

OPPOSITION communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says delays and blowouts in the next stage of the national broadband network (NBN) project show the federal government has let taxpayers down.

NBN Co chief Mike Quigley and communications minister Stephen Conroy on Wednesday released an updated plan covering the three years to mid-2015.  It showed construction costs will rise by 3.9 per cent to $37.4 billion, leading to a six-month extension in the construction timetable to June 2021.

Mr Turnbull said the plan, which updates the initial program laid out in December 2010, showed more investment would come from the Commonwealth.

"Labor's national broadband network is falling disastrously behind every benchmark the government has set for it except one - the amount of taxpayers money being spent," he said in a statement.

An increase in "indirect" operating expenses - primarily staff costs - from $3.7 billion to $7.8 billion was "even more insulting to taxpayers", Mr Turnbull said.

"NBN Co may not be able to put together a budget or roll out a network, but it knows how to take care of itself," he said.

He said NBN Co should be given a definitive budget and stick to it.

"And the Productivity Commission should be asked to conduct a thorough cost benefit analysis to assess the most efficient means of upgrading Australians' broadband as quickly as possible," Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Turnbull has said previously a coalition government would deliver broadband services through a cheaper and quicker plan, albeit at slower speeds, through a mix of copper, fibre, wireless and satellite technologies.


Whites who gain advantages by claiming to be Aborigines

Discussion of Indigenous identity on SBS’s Insight program this week drew attention to one of the worst kept secrets in the country.

A fierce debate is underway within the Indigenous community concerning who the ‘real Aborigines’ are with respect to who should and shouldn’t be entitled to the range of benefits available to address Indigenous disadvantage.

The bitter exchanges that featured on Insight exposed the legal persecution and silencing of Andrew Bolt for raising these issues in his newspaper columns to be a ridiculous example of shooting the messenger.

One can understand the sensitivities of people who identify with their Indigenous heritage ‘but don’t look Aboriginal.’ It is also easy to understand the resentment generated when some are suspected of identifying as Aboriginal as a flag of convenience to gain educational and employment advantages.

The problem is that the rules governing Aboriginal benefits treat aboriginality as a proxy for need. Affirmative action-style programs were designed to address the institutional and casual racism and prejudice that impeded Aboriginal social advancement.

Many of the increasing numbers of people who identify as Aboriginal have mixed heritages, face few institutional or casual impediments to rising on their merits, and many (as Helen Hughes has repeatedly pointed out) are generally doing as well as other Australians living and working in major population centres.

Clearly, identity alone can no longer be the basis for awarding Indigenous benefits. For people to qualify for Indigenous-specific entitlements, some kind of disadvantage test is needed.

This might mimic the points system used to assess potential immigrants. A list of the factors that establish need would have to be compiled and given appropriate weighting. Living in a remote community, being raised by welfare-dependent parents, low quality schooling, poor English literacy, chronic health problems, and a history of child abuse – all (lamentably) spring to mind.


Dodgy Islamic school

A clothing company that supplies school uniforms has applied to wind up Malek Fahd Islamic School in Sydney because of its alleged failure to pay debts of $286,303.

Duboke, trading as Oz Fashions, made the application, which will be heard by the Federal Court on August 17.

Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that Duboke and Malek Fahd's parent company, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, share the same business address at 932 Bourke Street, Waterloo.

Court documents allege that Malek Fahd has failed to pay 11 invoices dating from January 18 to February 14 this year.

The application was made on July 19, which was 11 days before the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, wrote to the school asking it to repay $9 million in state government funding.

Mr Piccoli said the school had breached funding requirements, which prevented it operating for profit. He said the school was transferring money to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils without receiving any services in return.

In his letter to school principal Dr Intaj Ali, Mr Piccoli said he had instructed the NSW Department of Education and Communities to terminate the school's funding.

He also wrote to the Association of Independent Schools of NSW to terminate its National Partnership funding. The school receives more than $1 million in annual funding for disadvantaged students through the five-year national partnership agreement between state and federal governments.

Mr Piccoli said that, for the school's state government funding to be reinstated, it would need to provide credible evidence that services were being provided in return for the money being transferred to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

"I continue to have serious concerns about other financial transactions at the school, including the systemic lack of record keeping and documentation," he said.

Mr Piccoli also wrote to the federal Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, saying that he had referred the matter to police and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The federal Department of Education commissioned an independent audit of the school last December to find whether it was spending its public funding on the education of students.

Mr Garrett has said that definitions of what it meant for a school to be operating for profit needed to be tightened.

He has said that while the vast majority of non-government schools are doing the right thing with taxpayers' money, vigilance was needed to ensure public funding was being properly spent.

In a statement, Dr Ali said he disputed Mr Piccoli's findings that the school was operating for profit and he intended to challenge the decision to terminate the school's funding.  "The school will take the appropriate steps to have this decision reviewed and is confident that ultimately the correct outcome will be achieved," he said. "Malek Fahd wishes to reassure all parents, students, staff and the wider community that its focus remains on the delivery of quality education for our students and it will continue to work with both the NSW and the federal Education Departments."

The Herald was unable to contact Dr Ali for comment today.  The Herald also sought comment from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils which declined to comment and Duboke's solicitor Marc Ryckmans, who did not return calls.

Adam Shepard has been appointed to act as liquidator to Malek Fahd if it is made insolvent.

The school has a history of excluding year 11 and 12 students who are not high performers. The Herald revealed some of its past students were forced to complete HSC subjects at TAFE because they were not achieving high marks in those subjects.

Dominic Bossi writes: Malek Fahd Islamic School has become one of the leaders in Islamic education in Australia and its reputation has convinced families to relocate interstate so their children can attend. Its potential closure has now shocked parents of pupils who have made significant sacrifices for their children's schooling and has left families with few viable alternatives.

"I actually wouldn't know where to go. I moved from the Gold Coast for this school. That was the only thing that was sending me back to Sydney because I wanted my kids to have a good education. When I got a spot here, I ran back [to Sydney]," Said Diane, a parent of a year 1 student.

"This school isn't just about religion, it's about what they're teaching them and what us parents teach their children. I can't even express what I feel, and what I would feel if this school closes down. I probably would [leave Sydney]."

While there are other Islamic schools in Sydney, most parents said they were proud of the balance between religious and academic education offered at Malek Fahd and would not be satisfied to relocate their children.

"My older one is doing medicine now and she got 99.6 per cent from this school. Its [potential closure is] really saddening for me," Seema Mahmood said. "I'm really satisfied with the performance of this school, religious as well as academic. I don't know; it's really shocking. I'm really shocked. It's a big worry for me now if it's closing."


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