Friday, August 26, 2016

War on free speech: University says using the term 'politically correct' is now a micro-aggression

SOTT | Aug 24, 2016 | Claire Bernish

The Free Thought Project - Under the familiar and altogether laughable guise of inclusivity, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee exponentially amplified its 'politically-correct' war on free speech by unironically warning students not to use the term — you guessed it — "politically correct."

Yes, seriously.

In fact, criticizing the university's assault on thought in the form of an attack on words by employing the term "political correctness" is now considered a 'microaggression,' according to the school's Ministry of Truth ... er ... Inclusive Excellence Center.

As Orwell rolls in his grave, the Center claims disparaging its campaign against free speech as political correctness "has become a way to deflect, say that people are being too 'sensitive' and police language," in part because it is "disconnected from authentic understanding of impact."

Yes, the program constructed for the sole purpose of policing speech humorlessly blames its critics — for policing speech.

Not-at-all shockingly, the somehow soberly-named Inclusive Excellence Center's Just Words campaign's exhaustively picky list of verboten language only catapults the absurdity of political correctness into the ionosphere from there.

Posters plastered across campus blast such commonly-used slang as "lame," which, apparently, "ridicules and ignores the lives of amputees"; "crazy," because it "creates a negative and demeaning perspective of people with mental health diagnoses"; "trash," which "uses class to marginalize and dismiss individuals of lower socioeconomic status"; and — hold onto your jaw — "bitch," because, duh, it "targets and dehumanizes women and [can be] used toward men to suggest femininity."

Although the Just Words website claims it is "not seeking to tell people what they can/cannot say," and UW-Milwaukee spokeswoman (spokesperson?) Michelle Johnson insists "the university strongly supports free speech," its overt attempt to act as student thought police is as undeniable as it is dangerous.

To wit, Johnson continued, "The goal is to raise awareness of the impact of the words and to encourage students, staff and others to think about the words that they use. We hope they will ask themselves, 'Are the words I am choosing truly conveying what I want to say?'"

Thankfully for small miracles, the Just Words campaign is funded by student fees rather than taxpayer dollars; but to imagine a public university — the now-abandoned bastion of spirited debate and competing ideas — allocating students' money toward misguided and damaging censorship, insults the very concept of higher learning.

Johnson, Heat Street reported, explained Just Words came to fruition in response to "a growing number of questions and comments from students about micro-aggressions, what they meant and where they come from."

Reviewing existing research on problematic language — yes, that is a thing — and interviewing students and staff, a UW-Milwaukee team "used multiple sources to explore the origins, contexts, and impacts of the terms and phrases, including multiple dictionaries and people's experiences with words," Johnson noted. "Once the team arrived at an initial description of the origin and impact of the term, we asked colleagues, peers and experts to review and offer their input."

Apparently, the team failed to include constitutional and free speech advocates in their discussion, who could have saved ample time by answering such student inquiries with the more truthful: Microaggression has been constructed by a society too sensitive to endure less-than marginally-offensive language, and would prefer wholescale censorship of thought over honest discussion, because rather than coming to terms with, at best, minimally hurtful words individually, it's easier to eradicate the language and pretend there won't be astronomical repercussions in the curbing of basic rights in the future.

On that note, Ari Cohn, a free speech attorney with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told Heat Street UW-Milwaukee should tread carefully down this path.

"While universities are free to educate students about the impact of certain words or language and encourage them to consider that while speaking to one another, such efforts must be strictly aspirational," Cohn advised. "A university that engages in a campaign like this must be careful and make clear to students that no administrative or disciplinary action will be taken against those who do not agree or comply with the university's views."

Whether those who already feel language is a literal weapon will have the restraint necessary not to extend its overarching speech police plans to include penalties or punishments to free-speakers would appear a dubious open question — particularly in light of Just Words' revealing multiphased plan.

Leaving no doubt about its grandiose designs on reining in language, Just Words unabashedly calls the first, poster, phase "passive programming." Somewhat formidably, phase two "active programming," which will be facilitated by UMW staff, invites campus community members to "engage in conversation ... about micro aggressions and the campaigns" — with the distressing side note it only 'hopes' to include "critical dialogue."

But critical dialogue — in fact, critical thought — has largely been left by the wayside by a growing number of colleges and universities seeming to spend the majority of their time inventing new ways in which to be offended by the words, actions, and deeds of others than in educating students on the imperative importance of protecting the right to free speech.

Mind-numbingly ironic as UW-Milwaukee's deeming the basic term 'politically correct' an attempt to police speech certainly is, campuses across the country have upped the ante significantly by creating Bias Response Teams to mete out dystopian re-education on the spot when someone finds just about anything offensive.

Thanks to UW-Milwaukee' Just Words and similar programs and BRTs at numerous other institutions of supposed higher learning, the premise of inclusivity has been thwarted, warped, and twisted into an excuse to further divide campus populations, freeze free discourse, allow blame to trump personal responsibility, stifle productive discussion, turn students into citizen-snitches, create a monoculture of excruciatingly limited ideas, and force every person on campus to police their most basic thoughts — while utterly ignoring the irony these programs created this mess to begin with.

In fact, the true accomplishment of such programs on campuses is the inculcation of students into the nation's war on terror-driven police state. Teaching the willfully and readily offended to turn to administrators — or, in some cases, campus police — at the drop of a word to 'adjust' a perceived injustice handily reinforces the notion only the authorities are equipped to provide a solution. In the vein of the Department of Homeland Security's ubiquitous If You See Something, Say Something, 'spot-the-terrorist-in-your-neighbor' propaganda campaign, students who might assume to be 'doing the right thing' become informants against non-crimes that literally cause harm to no one for the sake of furthering authoritarian control.

To the undoubted glib satisfaction of the State, what better way to prepare impressionable minds to find suspicion anywhere and everywhere?

None of this is to say bias, discrimination, racism, bigotry, and prejudice aren't existential realities on college campuses everywhere — campuses are, after all, microcosms of society. But to forego education and discussion amongst students, or perhaps with an impartial facilitator, in favor of programs making "perpetrators" of students who choose the wrong word, phrase, or action does nothing to advance increased understanding, much less actual inclusivity or celebration of diversity.

Rather than working to innovatively solve such systemic societal issues, political correctness run amok instead quashes the most imperative vehicle of change — honesty.

"How are students supposed to feel empowered to share their honest opinions on social issues," lamented a UC Santa Barbara student of the campus' BRT, "when they run the risk of being accused of 'undermining our culture of inclusivity?'"

Every indication evidences our presence on an un-funny paradoxical slippery slope into the oblivion of torturously controlled thoughts at the expense of freedom — and if the farcically offended among us don't get a grip soon, our peril will be cemented in newspeak.

What actually happens when someone is offended?

Hopefully, an honest dialogue is sparked, but remiss of that, the simple answer is nothing. Nothing happens. Which is as it should be in an otherwise free society.

The Government is a PARASITE on society (FULL)

Health Ranger | Aug 25, 2016

Find out how the government is nothing but a PARASITE on society that creates problems so it can pretend to solve them.

Learn more at

What Can We Say About a System that Criminalizes a Safe Painkiller (0 Deaths) and Promotes Big Pharma Opiates that Have Killed 165,000 Americans?

Of Two Minds | Aug 24, 2016 | Charles Hugh Smith

So when will the citizens wake up to the criminality of their government in favoring killer corporate opiates over safe natural painkillers?

Set your mindset to objective and come with me to the little-known but plucky nation of Lower Slobovia. The residents of Lower Slobovia have two choices when they are suffering from chronic pain:

1. A natural, non-addictive medication that they can grow themselves that has never caused a single fatality due to overdose, adverse reactions or mixing with other drugs (polypharmacy), or

2. synthetic opiates manufactured by pharmaceutical corporations that are highly addictive, trigger multiple adverse reactions, manifest dangerous polypharmaceutical attributes and have killed over 165,000 people in the past 15 years-- 28 times the nation's 
5,790 combat deaths in recent military conflicts
The corporations manufacturing and distributing the synthetic opiates as "safe" hid the truth about their medications from doctors, patients and the media:'You Want a Description of Hell?' Oxycontin's 12-Hour Problem
 (via John F.) 
OxyContin’s stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn’t last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

So take a guess which class of drugs is perfectly legal and widely promoted by Lower Slobovia's healthcare system, and which one is classified as a restricted Schedule 1 drug by the nation's Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), i.e. as dangerous as heroin?

I suspect you saw this coming, right? The natural painkiller that never killed a single soul and can be grown at home is criminalized, while the drugs that have already killed 165,000 people (a number that grossly understates the total number of deaths at least partly attributable to synthetic opiates) and addicted and/or harmed millions of other users is perfectly legal, declared "safe" by the pushers (oops, I mean pharmaceutical manufacturers) and the government, and distributed in the tens of millions of doses by the "healthcare" system.

Lower Slobovia's DEA, the corporate manufacturers of the killer-opiates and its healthcare system that slavishly distributes millions of the killer pills should be immediately escorted to Devil's Island and left to rot, right? And the insane laws reversed so the killer corporate synthetic opiates are declared Schedule 1 and heavily criminalized, and the natural nobody-dies painkiller legalized and distributed, right?

Isn't this obvious? Yes, I realize cannabis and opiates are not apples to apples, but you get the point--the drugs that have killed more than 165,000 people and ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of others should be on Lower Slobovia DEA's Schedule 1 of criminalized drugs instead of being passed out like candy by its "healthcare" system-- a distribtion that has reaped tens of billions of dollars in sales and profits for the pharmaceutical sector.
If you need some official statement to accept the obvious, well then, here you go:Could Medical Cannabis Break the Painkiller Epidemic?
 (Scientific American, September 2016 issue) 
A body of research suggests yes, but scientists are having to fight red tape to study whether medical marijuana could substitute for opioid drugs.

The U.S. “is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Prescription opioid overdoses killed more than 165,000 Americans between 1999 and 2014, and the health and social costs of abusing such drugs are estimated to be as much as $55 billion a year. The problem has led experts to scramble for a less dangerous alternative for pain relie--and some research points to medical marijuana.

Published in 2014, the study revealed an intriguing trend: between 1999 and 2010, states that permitted medical marijuana had an average of almost 25 percent fewer opioid overdose deaths each year than states where cannabis remained illegal.

So when will the citizens of Lower Slobovia wake up to the criminality of their government in favoring killer corporate opiates over safe natural painkillers, the criminality of the pharmaceutical racketeers who hid the truth from doctors and patients, and the complicity of a "healthcare" industry that has been happy to pass out deadly drugs like candy--at a profit, of course.

As you might have guessed, there is no Lower Slobovia. There is only the U.S.A., a nation "in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic,” a nation blind to the lethality of its Destruction Enforcement Agency (DEA), its corporate pushers and its government-funded and enforced "healthcare" system.
Disclosure: I am not a user of either recreational or medicinal cannabis or any corporate opiate. I just think it's time we finally confront the terrible, needless cost in human lives and suffering from our nation's insane, benighted drug laws and our needlessly costly, destructive but oh-so-profitable "healthcare" system.  

My new book is #9 on Kindle short reads -> politics and social science: Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition)For more, please visit the book's website.

Report on Syrian Chemical Attacks 'Part of PR Campaign to Demonize Assad'

Sputnik | Aug 25, 2016

On Wednesday, the UN and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released the results of a probe into chemical weapons attacks in Syria in 2014 and 2015 that implicate the Syrian government and the Daesh terrorist group.

Earlier, Reuters obtained a report saying that two of the nine chemical attacks in Syria were conducted by the Syrian government. According to the report, Syrian forces are responsible for attacks with the use of chlorine while Daesh militants allegedly used sulfur mustard gas. 
The report was presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday and was distributed among the Security Council members. According to the secretary general, the Security Council will discuss it next week. 
 In turn, Representative of the Syrian Republic to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafery said that the Syrian government received much information from the Syrian and Russian intelligence about chemical weapons produced by terrorists.

Jaafery stressed that despite the fact that there is enough information, many countries lack the "political will" to punish those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria. 
Earlier, he claimed that the French intelligence and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius were involved in a toxic gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013, which killed over 1,300 civilians. 
A mission to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal was announced after the deadly gas attack. Moscow urged Damascus to place its chemical weapons under international control, and Syria agreed to the Russian initiative. 
The attack was designed to distract UN inspection from another incident blamed on rebels, he said.

"According to the French sources and according to the book 'Road to Damascus' the famous French journalists Georges Malbruno and Christian Shesno have documented evidence to prove the involvement of the former French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, in the Eastern Guta tragedy near Damascus," Jaafrey said in an exclusive interview with Sputnik. 
Allegations that Damascus used chemical weapons are a repetitive story distributed by Western propaganda, Alexander Perendzhiev, assistant professor at the Russian Higher School of Economics, said. 
 He added that while the West accuses Syrian President Bashar Assad of using chemical weapons it ignores real facts of chemical attacks by Syrian militants. 
"One can love or hate Assad and its policy but it’s clear that the West demonizes and ignores war crimes conducted by Assad’s rivals. By the way, accusations against Assad are very similar to those made by Washington against Saddam Hussein," Perendzhiev told the Russian online newspaper Vzglyad. 
However, the expert suggested that the new accusations against Assad are not related to the latest developments in Syria. They are rather part of the broader media campaign against the Syrian president. 
"Before Russia engaged in Syria the West saw Assad as the main bad guy. Russia’s involvement drew international attention to the real problem, Daesh. Even Turkey, which supported militant groups against Assad, is now fighting terrorism in Syria. It seems like the United States and its allies want to switch global attention to fighting Assad, not terrorism," he pointed out. 
 Russian political analyst Evgeniy Satanovsky said that the West is still trying to topple Assad. In addition, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are in the game too. 
"Now, we’re witnessing another PR campaign demonizing Assad who didn’t use chemical weapons. Damascus destroyed its chemical arsenal in cooperation with Russia in 2013," Satanovsky said.