Tag Archives | irony

Controversial Idea is too Dangerous for Festival of Dangerous Ideas

festival-of-dangerous-ideas_logoIn a weirdly ironic twist, The Sydney Opera House has cancelled speaker Uthman Badar’s talk “Honour killings are morally justified.”

In a statement the Opera House appeared to blame the talk’s title for giving the ‘wrong impression’, while announcing that it had decided not to proceed with the session.

‘The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is intended to be a provocation to thought and discussion, rather than simply a provocation,’ the Opera House wrote on Facebook.

‘It is always a matter of balance and judgement, and in this case a line has been crossed.’

‘It is clear from the public reaction that the title has given the wrong impression of what Mr Badar intended to discuss. Neither Mr Badar, the St James Ethics Centre, nor Sydney Opera House in any way advocates honour killings or condones any form of violence against women.’

Mr Badar told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that the session’s cancellation is revealing of the extent and influence of Islamophobia in Australia.

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The NSA Has Their Own ‘Dear Abby’

PIC: Rob Speed (CC)

PIC: Rob Speed (CC)

One of Edward Snowden’s leaks revealed this incredible bit of absurdity: The agency has its own “Dear Abby” type advice column titled “Ask Zelda”. Incredibly enough, one of the published columns is a response to an NSA employee who complains about a boss and his team of “snitches” spying on casual conversations with coworkers. For an extra dose of irony, check out the department the employee works in…

Via The Intercept.

What if the National Security Agency had its own advice columnist? What would the eavesdroppers ask about?

You don’t need to guess. An NSA official, writing under the pen name “Zelda,” has actually served at the agency as a Dear Abby for spies. Her “Ask Zelda!” columns, distributed on the agency’s intranet and accessible only to those with the proper security clearance, are among the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The columns are often amusing – topics include co-workers falling asleep on the job, sodas being stolen from shared fridges, supervisors not responding to emails, and office-mates who smell bad.

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Scott Walker Has Painting Of Poor Children Removed From Wisconsin Governor’s Mansion

MJS bicecol05_cOther politicians can slash taxes for the rich while cutting funds for teachers and struggling families, but few can throw in some Mr. Burns-style symbolic nose-thumbing like the Wisconsin governor. Via Mother Jones:

Walker has made headlines again after he removed a painting (see right) depicting three Milwaukee children—one had been homeless, one from low-income family, and a third who had lost family members in a drunk-driving accident—from the Governor’s mansion.

The painting, hung over the mantel, was intended to remind state leaders of the people they represent. Scott Walker and his wife Tonette replaced it with a portrait of Old Abe, a Civil War-era bald eagle from Wisconsin.

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