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Key Posts | Anorak - Part 2

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Children compete to create Nazi Party mascot

To Georgia, where middle schoolers have been set a test: dream up a mascot for the Nazi party. WSB-TV Atlanta looks on as sixth graders from Shiloh Middle School in Snellville get to work.  “Directions: The year is 1935 and you have been tasked with creating a mascot to represent the Nazi party at its political rallies,” the task reads. “Think about all the information that you have learned about Hitler and the Nazi party. You will create a COLORFUL illustration of the mascot. Give the mascot a NAME. You will also write an explanation as to why the mascot was chosen to represent the Nazi party.”

 

nazi toy school

‘My Little Genocide’

 

Pass the crayons:

Gwinnett County Schools said learning about Nazism, the use of propaganda and the events that resulted in the Holocaust is part of the sixth grade social studies curriculum.

However, a school district spokesperson said in a statement, “This assignment is not a part of the approved materials provided by our Social Studies department and is not appropriate and the school is addressing the use of this assignment with the teacher.”

Given what you know about Nazis, industrialised murder, the Holocaust and more, get colouring, kids!*

Bonus marks will be awarded for any child stealing another child’s work with extreme prejudice and blaming it on the Jews.

Spotter: DrRandomFactor

Posted: 7th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arek Jozwik, Brexit and the travesty of facts

Sterling work by Brendan O’Neill on Spiked, who ‘fisked‘ the story of Arek Jozwik, the man the papers told us was “murdered for being Polish”. Mr Jozik’s death was the result of violence, true enough – a 16-year-old boy from Harlow, Essex, has been found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for three years.

But to a monocular press, the trial’s facts arrived as inconveniences: it wasn’t murder and it had nothing to do with the victim’s nationality.

Following a row, a 15-year-old British thug punched Mr Jozwik, a 40-year-old Pole, in the head. Jozwik fell. His head hit the pavement. Two days later Arek Jozwik was dead.

But the media narrative was set from the outset. This was foremost a suspected hate crime. Loud voices told readers and listeners that the death of Arek Jozwik was evidence that since Brexit racism was out of control.

Ross Clark noted:

James O’Brien, an LBC radio talk-show host, declared that certain Eurosceptics had ‘blood on their hands’ as did ‘anybody who has suggested speaking Polish in a public place is in any way undesirable’. This was the premise of almost all reporting on the story: a man seemed to have been murdered for being Polish.

Viewers of BBC1’s News at Six were told, ‘the fear is that this was a frenzied racist attack triggered by the Brexit referendum’.

The Indy was arguably the biggest miscreant, positioning the horrible altercation that ended in the death of one man and the imprisonment of another as a return to “white man’s gulch“. The paper mused: “Harlow: Did the great hopes for a post-war new town end with the death of a Polish immigrant in a shopping arcade?” The whole town was in the dock, just as how all of Eltham and its inhabitants were found guilty when Stephen Lawrence was knifed to death in a racist attack. “Harlow in Essex… was once the shiny future of post-war Britain. What went wrong?” asked the paper. What is wrong with Essex man?

The story of what really happened emerged after a trial. It made its way into the Sun, which invited Brendan O’Neill to expose “one of the most shameless misinformation campaigns of recent times”. He wrote:

For certain political and media types, still reeling from the electorate’s rejection of the EU, this was more than just a drunken dispute that ended tragically — it was an act of political evil.

Instantly, and without the benefit of evidence, they labelled Mr Jozwik’s death a Brexit crime…

Jakub Krupa, of the Polish Press Agency, wrote in The Guardian that the killing “exposes the reality of post-referendum racism”.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also used it to attack Brexit. He told the European Parliament: “We Europeans can never accept Polish workers being harassed, beaten up or even murdered on the streets of Essex.”

Robert Halfon, Tory MP for Harlow, said the killing showed that some people “from the sewers” were using Brexit to “exploit division”.

Meanwhile, the leftish Twittersphere went into meltdown. Tweets included “Welcome to Brexit Britain”, “(Jozwik was) murdered for being Polish”, and “This is what was encouraged by Farage, Johnson, Cameron.”

Good stuff.

Or as the Sun put it previously:

 

 

 

 

 

And:

 

 

And:

Anti-Brexit boors have gone silent over the killing of Polish man Arek Jozwik..

A HORRIBLE night in ­Harlow, Essex, a little over a year ago. A drunken Polish bloke gets into an argument with a 15-year-old black kid. He pushes him and calls him “n*****”. The kid responds with a single punch.

The convicted teenager is believed to be white.

Such are the facts in the trusty mainstream media.

Posted: 6th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


After Las Vegas: only candles, thoughts and prayers can stop another massacre

After the horror in Las Vegas, will anything happen? Something must after America’s worst mass-shooting. The sane thing would be to debate gun control and why it’s ok for someone to own an arsenal of high-powered weapons. But amid the candles, prayers and hashtags – and the flurry of guessing about why Stephen Paddock executed scores of innocent music fans out for a good night – nothing gets done. Second Amendment freedoms remain unchanged in law. You can buy a machine gun in the USA and keep it shiny in the hope that when someone aims their machine gun at you, you can shoot back.

The newspapers are full of the Las Vegas bloodbath. All mention Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old killer, in the opening lines. Police and the FBI are looking for Paddock’s motive. There are many being spouted: he is a jihadi; a white supremacist; an anti-Trump activist; a pro-Trump gun-nut; a terrorist; a white male; and so on. Reuters hears an official says that Paddock had a “history of psychological problems”. Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was a “psychopathic serial bank robber” who was once on the FBI’s most wanted list between 1969 and 1977.

 

 

Donald Trump says it was an “act of pure evil”, a phrase that invokes God and invites us to think the Devil did it. Is that going to be Stephen Paddock’s excuse? Is he going to become a victim of some kind of hereditary condition and demonic possession?

“WHY DID HE FLIP?” asks the Mirror over two pages. The answer can be summed up in one word: “Dunno.” But the Mirror, as with so much media, analyses the dead murderer’s brain. Did he “inherit his criminal father’s mental illness and ruthless passion for violence”? The Mail wonders: “Did gambling losses turn law-abiding ex-accountant into mass killer?” The Sun leads with news that Paddock was “thought” to have gambling debts.

We like a clean narrative: man with money worries / troubled upbringing / religious devotion murders scores of people. But none of it sheds any light on the horror. It just offers Paddock an out. He deserves none. The Las Vegas Police Department’s Sheriff Joe Lombardo is honest: “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath.”

The only sense would be to look at how mass shootings can be prevented. Better mental health provision? More exorcisms? Locking up children of the criminally deranged? Stopping a man on a mission to kill isn’t easy if you value freedom. How about stricter rules on who gets machine guns and bullets? The US gun lobby won’t budge. Trump needs to find a way to keep the US constitution intact – the freedom and equality it enshrines in law – and stop manics getting their hands on high-velocity killing machines.

The next slaughter won’t be stopped by tea-lights and prayers.

 

Posted: 3rd, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


After Las Vegas: everyone knows why Stephen Paddock did it

Why did Mesquite, Nevada, man Stephen Paddock shoot dead more than 50 people and wound 400 more when he opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas? Police “believe” he committed suicide before they raided his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. It was from there that he fired at the crowd below, allegedly.

 

Stephen paddock las vegas

 

We might never know why he did it, if he did it and if he did it alone – 10 weapons were found in his room, say police. So can anyone with an agenda subscribe their bigotry to this horror?

ISIS says they know why Paddock did it. A statement published by the group’s Amaq propaganda agency says: “The Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries.” They claim Stephen Paddock “converted to Islam several months ago”.

The Daily Mail endorses that message:

 

 

Eric Paddock, the suspect’ brother, is quoted in the Orlando Sentinel:

“We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened. We have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I can’t imagine. When you guys find out why this happened, let us know. I have no idea whatsoever.”

Tariq Nasheed says it’s to do with white supremacy.

 

Tariq Nasheed stephen paddock

 

Paddock had been travelling with Marilou Danley, who is not a suspect. The Australian said Danley was “an Australian passport holder, possibly of Indonesian descent, but officials there have not confirmed her nationality”. White supremacist friendly with Indonesian women attacks country music festival. Really? Danley relocated to the United States 20 years ago, according to one of her former neighbours who said she is originally from the Philippines, The Herald Sun reported.

Was it terrorism? “There is motiving factors associated with terrorism other than a distraught person just intending to cause mass casualty. Before we label with that it will be a matter of process,” says Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.”We believe it’s a solo actor. A lone wolf,” Lombardo added.

Is there something about his name?

 

What about Donald Trump? Armchair Detective On Twitter tabs the side of his nose and gives us the side eye:

 

Paddock hated Trump! right?

stephen paddock donald trump

 

 

How about Stephen Paddock’s whiteness?

stephen paddock white

 

Terror attacks are used to further a cause. What Paddock’s was Charles Clymer doesn’t say. But when it comes to being murdered, he is producing a league table. Ban white guys, says Charles!

Can we ban God, who was angry at Trump.

 

 

The dead are victims of white privilege:

 

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin says he was a killer:

Too many people are at a loss to understand such killings. They can’t comprehend the deep pitted hatred that fills the black hearts of these multiple murderers. A shooting or mass event shocks the public which doesn’t spend its time dreaming of murder. However these killers do just that. Every waking moment is focused on their deviant desires. By rote, they practice over and over in their minds how they will destroy as much life as possible. They live and breathe an inevitable revenge. Fueled by continuous anger, they prepare for their destiny. That is how they see it. Every mass killer I interviewed said they always knew they would kill. In a way it is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Whatever method they choose to execute their plan, they practice ad nauseum. They go to the location they want to attack. Once there, they watch. They want to memorize the patterns of the people at the location. They want to see who is there and where they go. What is normal for this area? Yes, killers profile too. They need those patterns so they can predict the behavior of their targets. When they can anticipate how a victim will react, they can cut off escape routes.

Weapons are obtained, and very often, they tell someone of their goal. Though they are deadly serious, the threat is blown off. People have a hard time believing that this person could do such a thing. Or, the person is too frightened to say a word. Thus, the behavior and words do not get reported. And the plan continues.

 

 

More to follow…

Posted: 2nd, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hugh Hefner serenades two would-be Japanese Playboy Bunnies and it’s horrendous

Next up on the god-awful 1980 TV show Pink Lady & Jeff  – a show featuring Japanese female singing duo Pink Lady (Mitsuyo Nemoto (“Mie”) and Keiko Masuda) and Jeff Altman, who was there because he could speak English, is Hugh Hefner.  

The girls have rocked up at the Playboy Mansion to audition as Bunnies.

As you watch through knitted fingers, Hugh Hefner thinks it a good idea to sing My Kind of Town.
 

Posted: 28th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lavinia Woodward’s case tells us nothing about race but it might expose the myth of gender equality

Afua Hirsch has something to say about Lavinia Woodward, the troubled woman guilty of attacking her boyfriend. For the crime of unlawful wounding Woodward was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months. Much of the narrative has focused on her intellect, which the judge praised. He told her “normally it would attract a custodial sentence, whether it is immediate or suspended”. Judge Pringle praised her “extraordinary talent” for learning and medicine – Woodward wants to be a heart surgeon –  and listed “mitigating factors” in arriving at his conclusion that a period in prison would be the wrong sentence.

 

 

The Press disagreed, calling it “TOFF JUSICE” (The Sun) and reworking the judge’s comments into “Oxford student branded ‘too clever to be jailed'” (Mirror). Woodward became a talking point. So here’s Hirsch to tell Guardian readers: “The Lavinia Woodward case exposes equality before the law as a myth.”

It does? She describes Woodward as “white, and privileged”. I’d add ‘blonde’. It is surely Woodward’s blondeness that made her case front-page news.

Hirsch adds: “At the time of her attack, she was studying medicine at Christ Church college, Oxford. She had attended a prestigious international school. She could afford an excellent lawyer. She was able to demonstrate – in a language the judiciary can easily understand – her potential future contribution to society.”

Hirsch then reviews all the facts – although the judge’s full comments have not been published – adding maybe a dash of her own prejudice to the matter. “She is as deserving of a prison sentence as the young black men so often reported as being involved in stabbings,” she writes, as if all stabbings are of equal damage and all cases easily comparable.

But if it’s inconsistency we’re seeking, the key word might not be ‘white’. It might be ‘she’. In the 2013 Government report “Statistics on Women and the Criminal Justice System – A Ministry of Justice publication under Section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991” we read more.

Women go to prison less often than men:

 

 

That the crime was Woodward’s first was noted by the judge, who told her: “There are many mitigating features in your case. Principally, at the age of 24 you have no previous convictions of any nature whatsoever.”

The report states:

Offending histories: Female offenders were less likely than male offenders to have any previous cautions or convictions throughout the ten years from 2003 to 2013, with a third of females and only a fifth of males being first-time offenders in 2013.

Is Woodward likely to repeat her crime?

In the most recent period (2012), males (both adults and juveniles) re-offended at a higher rate than females (27.7% compared to 18.5%), and this has not changed over the past ten years.

 

 

And what about those mitigating factors? The judge told Woodward:

“There are many mitigating features in your case. Principally, at the age of 24 you have no previous convictions of any nature whatsoever. Secondly, I find that you were genuinely remorseful following this event and, indeed, it was against your bail conditions, you contacted your partner to fully confess your guilt and your deep sorrow for what happened.

“Thirdly, whilst you are a clearly highly-intelligent individual, you had an immaturity about you which was not commensurate for someone of your age. Fourthly, as the reports from the experts make clear, you suffer from an emotionally-unstable personality disorder, a severe eating disorder and alcohol drug dependence.

“Finally, and most significantly, you have demonstrated over the last nine months that you are determined to rid yourself of your alcohol and drug addiction and have undergone extensive treatment including counselling to address the many issues that you face. In particular, you have demonstrated to me since I adjourned this matter in May a strong and unwavering determination to do so despite the enormous pressure under which you were put and which has been referred to me by your counsel.”

Says the Government:

A case with many aggravating factors is dealt with more severely than a case with a few aggravating factors. These offenders are more likely to be sent to prison and more likely to be sent there for longer. Conversely, offenders with many mitigating factors taken into account in their case are less likely to be sent to prison.

If you satisfy the court that your sorry, well done:

 

 

 

And:

The type of sentence outcome given at court differs between male and female offenders and has also changed over time, due largely to the greater use of SSOs since 2005 when they became more readily available under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. As with the wider trend for all indictable offences (highlighted in the defendants’ chapter) there was also a decline in the proportion of community sentences over the time period.

The most common disposal given to male offenders across each of the four specified violence offences is now an immediate custodial sentence, with the proportion increasing over the last ten years for ABH and remaining stable for the other offences. By contrast the type of sentence outcome given to female offenders has differed for each of these four offences. In 2013, the most common disposal given for the offences of ABH and cruelty to or neglect of children was a community sentence, whilst for GBH without intent it was a SSO and for breach of a restraining order it came under the otherwise dealt with category.

Across each of these four offences, male offenders were around twice as likely to be given an immediate custodial sentence than female offenders. By contrast, a greater proportion of female offenders received less severe sentence outcomes.

Money matters, of course. But to argue that Lavinia Woodward’s case typifies the “racial inequality at the core of our justice system” is wrong. But there might be an argument to be made around gender…

Posted: 28th, September 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


RIP Hugh Hefner: breaker of taboos

 

RIP Hugh Hefner (1926-2017), the man who made your feel less guilty about looking at nudes. Hefner was the man who gave us the enjoiner: “I only buy it for the articles.” And, boy, were those stories good. So good that the protectors of our minds and bodies branded Playboy magazine “obscene”. We lapped it up. And in the 1960s Hefner moved into teasing punters with actual flesh and satin-eared women in Playboy clubs. Punters drank in the wit of black comics Dick Gregory and Jewish enemy-of-the-state Lenny Bruce, a man Hefner could not stand to watch “persecuted or prosecuted for his words and his ideas”,  proving that when it came to entertainment and escapism, segregation, whether born of race, gender or rudeness, is for losers.

This was social revolution.“

Hefner was the first publisher to see that the sky would not fall and mothers would not march if he published bare bosoms; he realised that the old taboos were going,” Time magazine said in a 1967 cover story. “He took the old-fashioned, shame-thumbed girlie magazines, stripped off the plain wrapper, added gloss, class and culture. It proved to be a sure-fire formula.”

The Hollywood Reporter:

Hefner became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and ’70s and he was both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, with some accusing him of objectifying women while others said he liberated and empowered them. During a conversation with Gloria Steinem in 1970, Hefner dismissed feminism as “foolishness,” and Steinem told him: “What Playboy doesn’t know about women could fill a book … There are times when a woman reading a Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.”

Hefner was a staunch supporter of abortion – including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 — and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. “By associating sex with sin, we have produced a society so guilt-ridden that it is almost impossible to view the subject objectively,” he wrote in 1963 in one of his many broadsides aimed at Christian leaders.

Cheers, Hef.

Image:  Hugh Hefner (April 9, 1926 – September 27, 2017) at his kitchen table working on the first issue of Playboy (1953)

Posted: 28th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Labour is still trying to work out when it’s ok to hate Jews

Labour doesn’t much mind the rampant anti-Semitism in its ranks. Jeremy Corbyn says anti-Semitism is not “a huge problem” within the party. Union leader and Corbyn backer Len McCluskey says accusations of anti-Semitism are “mood music… created by people trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn”. And there’s dear Ken Livingstone, who says: “Some people have made offensive comments, it doesn’t mean they’re inherently anti-Semitic and hate Jews. They just go over the top when they criticise Israel.”

And there isn’t any Jew hatred. Well, not that Labour can find. The party was given a clean bill of health by crack racist-spotter Shami Chakrabarti, who despite a pathological fear of men from Essex (none of which are Jews, natch.), was able to engage in a full and far-reaching investigation hat went a bit like this:

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

In utterly unrelated news, the Leader of the Labour party nominated Shami Chakrabarti for a peerage. She is now Dame Shami.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Time and time again we are alerted to the hideous anti-Jew hatred that for years has been allowed to thrive on the Left and now has wormed its way into Labour’s heart. Stephen Pollard tells Daily Express readers that Labour is now run by “thugs”. Labour activists at the party’s conference in Brighton demand that the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) be “expelled” and leaflets compare Israel and Jews to Nazis, a nasty, snide slight that presents Jews as unworthy of the Holocaust and deserving of it, making the millions of Jewish victims of Nazi murder, rape and torture complicit in their own deaths. It’s hideous and deliberately cruel.

John Cryer, Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead and chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, told a meeting at the conference: “I have seen some of the tweets from paid up Labour Party members and I am not kidding you, it makes your hair stand up.” He says attitudes to Jews in Labour ranks are “redolent of the 1930s”.

The Daily Mail leads with the story of how anti-Semitism has been allowed to fester and grow in Labour. The paper lists examples of the kind of Jew hatred Labour acquiesces to. Over two pages, the Mail tells Labour: “ROOT OUT YOUR RACISTS!” But in the Daily Mirror, the story appears in one slim, short column on page 10 (the left-hand page). “Anti-semitic views face a crackdown,” says the headline. “Labour has backed new powers to stamp out anti-Semitism in the party.” Labour members voted to “back a tightening of rules against racism”.

Nasty. No, not just the bigots – the Press using the horror of anti-Semitism to damage Jeremy Corbyn and cheer moves to turn being an anti-Semite into an act of rule-bashing rebellion. It’s not a light matter to hate Jews. History teaches us that. Do we sincerely believe everyone aghast and agog at anti-Semitism is a friend of the Jews, a champion of Jewish rights? Do we not suspect that some of the shock and horror is born of a desire to bash Labour? What should be free, frank and open debate about a poison that places people in fear of their lives for the ‘crime’ of being a Jew or being a Zionist (ie thinking Israel has a right to exist) becomes a witch-hunt.

Labour has a problem with Jews. That much is clear. And that it’s not all that bothered by anti-Semitism is also clear. Why should it be? Not all that many Jews live in the UK, so their vote is relatively unimportant. Labour has no need to woo the Jewish vote. Ultimately, Labour is representative of its members, who haven’t been deterred by the racism. In fact, Labour membership has grown in recent years. So expect more of the same, then.

Posted: 27th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lavinia Woodward’s mitigating factors: she’s not black, male and poor

Lavinia Woodward, 24, has been in court for assaulting her boyfriend – she stabbed him in the leg with a bread knife after throwing a laptop, a glass and a jam jar at him. Should she go to prison? “No!” rules judge Ian Pringle, who reasons that because Woodward is bright and wants to be surgeon, a stint in choky might damage her career. You and anyone sane might baulk at being treated by a surgeon with a history of stabbing people with kitchen equipment – taking work home with her? – who suffers from an emotionally-unstable personality disorder, a severe eating disorder, and alcohol and drug addiction.

Might it be that the victim, one Thomas Fairclough, a Cambridge graduate Woodward had met on the dating app Tinder, took one for the team?

 

lavinia woodward

She’s presented as someone we should envy – the blonde ‘toff’ laughing in the face of justice. That’s ugly. She seems far from happy.

 

But Woodward remains at large. Judge Pringle thinks she’s possessed of an “extraordinary talent”. Dwayne from the council estate can go to prison for his crimes, on account of being normal or even blow par; but Lavinia was really terribly good at school so when she gets into drugs and knife crime, it’s all a dreadful waste of potential that society cannot bear. So for pleading guilty to unlawful wounding she receives a sentence of 10 months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months. Well, so goes the tabloid narrative.

Pringle is sympathetic to Lavinia, telling the court: “It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinarily able young lady from following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to would be a sentence which would be too severe. What you did will never, I know, leave you but it was pretty awful, and normally it would attract a custodial sentence, whether it is immediate or suspended.”

Judge Pringle seems to believe that because sentencing aims to protect society and help to rehabilitate the offender, jailing a bright student would be counterproductive.

Pringle has more to say to the young woman at Oxford Crown Court:

“There are many mitigating features in your case. Principally, at the age of 24 you have no previous convictions of any nature whatsoever. Secondly, I find that you were genuinely remorseful following this event and, indeed, it was against your bail conditions, you contacted your partner to fully confess your guilt and your deep sorrow for what happened.

“Thirdly, whilst you are a clearly highly-intelligent individual, you had an immaturity about you which was not commensurate for someone of your age. Fourthly, as the reports from the experts make clear, you suffer from an emotionally-unstable personality disorder, a severe eating disorder and alcohol drug dependence.

“Finally, and most significantly, you have demonstrated over the last nine months that you are determined to rid yourself of your alcohol and drug addiction and have undergone extensive treatment including counselling to address the many issues that you face. In particular, you have demonstrated to me since I adjourned this matter in May a strong and unwavering determination to do so despite the enormous pressure under which you were put and which has been referred to me by your counsel.”

 

The judge never said she was “too clever” for prison. Only newspapers did.

 

So the “highly intelligent” young woman – someone you might suppose can understand the weight of her crime better than most – doesn’t go to jail. Which appears to be a lesson for us all: don’t be poor, black and male. But it’s not that simple.

Lavinia Woodward should not be envied. She appears to be struggling and have suffered. And the media exposure must be challenging, especially to someone who appears unhappy in her own skin. It’ll be interesting to see what occurs when someone less bright and less blonde than Lavinia Woodward charged with similar crimes stands before the judge – and if the tabloids report their trials at all, let alone deem the cases worthy of front-page news. We might not like the story of the “toff” who “escaped” prison for “being too clever”, but that might be something to do with our own prejudices.

That’s another lesson for us all: if you want to be on the tabloids’ front pages and ride high on the news cycle: do be blonde, female and young.

 

Posted: 26th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Poppy monoculture: a draconian silence falls over Wembley

Without any hint of irony the Daily Telegraph hears that England – the national football side rebranded ‘The Three Lions’ – are allowed to wear pictures of poppies on their shirts and calls it a “major victory for the British game”. England might not win many meaningful football matches but when it comes to decorating our tops, decades of hurt have been undone. On November 10, England will wear poppies on their shirts as they play – get this – Germany at Wembley.

Before last year’s Armistice Day, FIFA banned England and Scotland — as well as Wales and Northern Ireland — from wearing the poppy, the symbol of remembrance, for matches on that day. FIFA says “political, religious or personal” designs should no infect the national shirts. But England and Scotland players wore them anyhow, albeit as black armbands with a poppy motif.  Odd, no? Football is about rules. It’s all about rules. Without rules there is no sport. Flouting the rules is no small deal.

Rory Smith notes that “Until 2009, it was rare for British club teams to display a poppy on their uniforms at this time of year… A campaign led by the Daily Mail that year changed all that. The intention, of course, is an admirable and honorable one: to show that football, as the slogan goes, remembers. That is not, however, necessarily the effect. Wearing a poppy is designed as an individual act; when it becomes compulsory, it loses not just much of its impact, but some of its meaning.”

An act of remembering in a minute’s contemplative silence became enforced duty. And it became political. Theresa May called it was “utterly outrageous” that FIFA should rule on poppies. The FA says “common sense” has won. The Sun calls it “VICTORY – Poppy ban KO-d as FIFA sees sense”.  “POPPY VICTORY,” declares the Express. “POPPY POWER,” hails the Mail. “Sportsmail ran a successful campaign in 2009 for all Premier League clubs to have the poppy emblem on their shirts, which is now commonplace.” No. It’s compulsory. And anyone who objects is portrayed as morally repugnant.

In 2010, Celtic fans protested a decision for their club’s shirt to feature the poppy. Their banner declared: “Your deeds they would shame all the devils in hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No blood-stained poppy on our hoops.” Celtic vowed to ban he protestors. The Sun called them “hate mobs”. Don’t sing sectarian chants about past battles and loss, goes the top-down directive, but you must wear the poppy.

This is not about heartfelt remembrance, giving private thanks to the sacrifices of so many for our freedom (to choose) and supporting the armed forces; it’s about public displays of group think and compliance.

 

Posted: 25th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Violent Australian bigots have the say on same‑sex marriage

In Australia a debate over gay marriage has turned nasty. Australia’s 16m registered voters are answering a question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” We’ll know the answer on November 15th. And whatever the outcome, the result is not legally binding. The poll is being conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the body that oversees elections.

It’s popularity contest. The Government will use toe vote to gage what the people want. Greens’ party leader Richard Di Natale said the plebiscite could “give a megaphone to hate and homophobia”. Opposition leader Bill Shorten said a campaign “would be an emotional torment for gay teenagers”.

Indeed, the debate has become brutal.

 

Religion is playing no small part in the row. The Telegraph reports:

Imams and Islamic leaders are ramping up a campaign against same-sex marriage, using their sermons in mosques across Australia to urge the Muslim community to vote no.

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia head Keysar Trad has begun a tour of prayer halls in a bid to thwart same-sex marriage, comparing gay love to incestuous relationships­.

“We might love our mum and dad intensively but you don’t denigrate that love with sexual behaviour,” he said.

Not everyone is as confused as Mr Trad. But, boy, are they ever intolerant. In Canberra, one woman is paying the price for thinking for herself:

A small-business owner has sacked a staff member who came out in support of the “no” campaign in the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite.

Madlin Sims, who runs a party entertainment company in Canberra, said she was taking a stand on the issue, likening it to employing a staff member who posted racist material online.

The sacked contractor was a woman who took photos of events and often posted them on Facebook. “Today I fired a staff member who made it public knowledge that they feel ‘it’s okay to vote no’,” Ms Sims wrote on Sunday.

“Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech. Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can’t have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online.

“1. Its bad for business. 2. I don’t like s**t morals. 3. I don’t want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children.

“It’s not okay to vote no.”

And now former PM Tony Abbott has been headbutted by a 38-year-old man wearing a “Vote Yes” badge. The Daily Telegraph reports:

The former prime minister said he was headbutted after attending a private function on Thursday.

Speaking with 2GB radio after the incident, Mr Abbott said he was confronted by one male while walking back to his hotel on Thursday.

“A fellow sung out to me, ‘Hey, Tony’, I turned around, there was a chap wearing a ‘vote Yes’ badge’, he says ‘I wanna shake your hand’,” he said.

“I went over to shake his hand and he headbutted me.”

Mr Abbott said his attacker “wasn’t very good at it”, but said the blow did make contact.

Abott, who earned two Blues for boxing while at Oxford University, is attracting not a lot of symapthy from ‘yes’ voters. This one stands out:

I would *love* to headbutt Tony Abbott. Guess I’ll never get the chance now.

— 🌈Peter Mattessi (@pmattessi) September 21, 2017

Peter Mattessi writes for the BBC. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s made no threats. His views are just part of a debate about love and equality.

 

Peter Mattessi

 

Is the media biased?

The Daily Telegraph has more:

An ABC staff member has applauded the alleged assault on former Prime Minister Tony Abbott by a same-sex activist…

The email was responding to a breaking news alert from ABC News 24’s producer and presenter Jason Om that Mr Abbott had been attacked in Hobart.

Om’s email was titled “Abbott headbutted” and read: “Tony Abbott has told 2GB he was subjected to a ‘Liverpool kiss’ in Hobart by a man who supported same sex marriage.”

The email alert went out at 8.12pm, after Mr Abbott was allegedly headbutted by a man wearing a YES campaign badge who had asked to shake his hand.

Less than a minute later, the reply all from the employee responded: “Good.”

The Australian adds:

An ABC spokesperson said: “The email was unacceptable and the staff member in question, who is a technical operator and not a journalist, has been counselled. It was a one-word lapse in judgment by one person rather than a general reflection of the entire ABC.”

Vote now and vote often.

Posted: 22nd, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Antifa bigots are even worse than the neo-Nazi they beat up in Seattle

Prince Harry got lucky. Moreover, Sid Vicious, Keith Moon, Brian Jones, Siouxie Sioux, Ron Asheton, Peter Rabbit, TV baker Paul Hollywood and Paul Dutton, 48, who was ejected from his local branch of Asda in Cambridge after a fellow shopper complained about his attire – a classic formal black suit of the type produced by Hugo Boss in the 1940s and favoured by Hitler’s notorious SS. Had any of those people who like to dress as Nazis been spotted walking about Seattle, they’d have been beaten to a bloody pulp by intolerant, bigoted, lazy-thinking, needy anti-fascist thugs.

 

Nazi Seattle bus

 

Buzzfeed reports:

The person using the @teethnclaws account asked not to be identified, citing concerns over his personal safety. He said he wasn’t aware of who actually threw the punch, but credits anti-fascist Twitter networks for making it happen.

“I would say that we successfully identified, tracked and coordinated to neutralize a clear and present danger to Seattle. Whether we coordinated the actual punch or not,” he said, “I, for one, applaud the anonymous hero.”

@teethnclaws described himself as an active anti-fascist fighter for the last 20 years and said that the punch in Seattle was the coordinated effort of “horizontal organizing between concerned neighbors.” He said nobody knows who threw the punch and that he wouldn’t help anyone find out.

“When anti-fascists, casual or organized, have their identity broadcast they are put in extreme danger,” he said.

This is how our saviours communicate:

 

Nazi Seattle bus

 

Of course the guy in the armband’s a knob. He’s making full advert of that. His swastika is notable and maybe even shocking because of its rarity. The idiot on the bus isn’t at the vanguard of the Fourth Reich.

The white man seen punching the neo-Nazi fool in the face, having joined others in cornering their target and engaging him in conversation, doubtless sees himself as a noble champion of ethnic minorities. He’s the antithesis of fanatical, thuggish white supremacists and their agenda of elitism and violence. He’s pitifully wrong. Like the neo-Nazis they obsess over, the so-called alt-Left celebrates violence in the pursuit of moral superiority, in which the Untermensch are expelled. The cretin in the Nazi get-up is punched because he’s transgressed the limits of what these alt-Left vigilantes deem acceptable speech and dress. Free speech and free expressions are cornerstones of democracy, but neo-Nazis and antifa share a monocular view: agree with us or else.

 

Nazi Seattle bus

 

Nazi Seattle bus

Nazi Seattle bus
Get a load of that guff.
The cod military language  – saying “intel” in everyday conversation is but a short goose-step away from wearing camouflage in city centres and screaming at pigeons. The celebration of violence. The soaring self-righteousness. This mob are more brattish than brave. Get a grip. And get a clue. The man on the bus does not reyupresent a return to Nazism. You are not the embodiment of The Few, a freedom fighter risking it all to defeat censorship, groupthink and the intrinsic superiority of one kind of human over another. You’re a violent thug with a grievance using others to define your narcissism and self worth.
And here’s the thing. Screaming fascist at anyone who debates your world view might make you ever worse than the neo-Nazi goon you hate. At least he’s not clambering over the graves of the genuinely courageous who died fighting for the freedoms you take for granted.

Posted: 20th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


‘Piss Off Fatso’: When Thompson and Lillee wreaked havoc

 

The Ashes are coming. A friend tells me with no little boasting, “I watched Thompson and Lillee on ‘The Hill’.” That was the 1974-1975 Ashes, when Geoff Thompson and Dennis Lillee were on a mission.

As Lillee put it: “I’m trying to scare him, trying to hurt him, perhaps in the ribs or leg or something so that he at least knows you’re around.”

And the crowd? Well, they loved it. “Lillee! Lillee! Kill! Kill! Kill!”

 

 

And Thompson and Lillee really hated the English. The 1974-75 Athes series was brutal:

England were surprised when Thomson was included in the Australian side for the opening Test in Brisbane. “We never thought they’d pick Jeff,” recalled David Lloyd. “We thought it was a different Thomson… Froggy, who played for Victoria.”

In the days before the Test, Thomson upped the hype in a TV interview when he said: “I enjoy hitting a batsman more than getting him out. I like to see blood on the pitch.”

The night before the match Lillee came across Thomson in the bar drinking scotch. “When I go out to bowl I want a hangover from hell,” Thomson explained. “I bowl really well when I’ve got a headache.”

When the game got underway Australia batted first, leaving Thomson in the pavilion to nurse his hangover. Towards the end of their innings Tony Greig, who could bowl briskly and generated significant lift from his 6ft 7in frame to trouble decent batsmen, bounced Lillee. The ball reared at his head and he could do no more than glove it to Alan Knott. “Just you remember who started this,” muttered Lillee as he trooped off.

“When I batted at Perth I didn’t even wear a cap,” said Lloyd. “All I had was an apology for a thigh pad.” It was in that Test that Thomson struck Lloyd so hard in the groin that his protective box was turned inside out. “You didn’t feel fear,” he added, “but you did feel a hopelessness at times, a feeling that you couldn’t cope.”

Mike Denness noted Lloyd’s reaction when he returned to the dressing room after one innings. “Within seconds his body was quivering. His neck and the top half of his body in particular were shaking. He was shell-shocked.”

Here’s a fun anecdote from the Perth Test:

“Good morning, my name’s Cowdrey,” he said. Thomson has told the story so often, with ribald twists introduced depending on the audience, that it is hard to know precisely what he said in response but his latest account, gives a flavour: “As I handed my hat to the umpire, I was revved up and just wanted to kill somebody and Kipper walked all the way up to me and said: ‘Mr Thomson I believe. It’s so good to meet you.’ And I said: ‘That’s not going to help you, Fatso, now piss off.'”

Did it hurt? David Lloyd tells us:

After making a heroic 49 in his first knock, Lloyd was making dogged progress in the second innings when Thomson caught him ‘full on’ in the most tender part of the anatomy.
“We wore little pink plastic boxes at the time which were totally unsuitable for the job,” he explained. “It cracked open and what I had inside fired through before the box snapped shut again like a guillotine coming down. Even after 32 years, I lose my voice just thinking about it. There’s retired hurt and then there’s retired hurt…”

For your diaries:

23-27 November 2017 – First Test, Gabba.
2-6 December 2017 – Second Test, Adelaide Oval (Day-Night)
14-18 December 2017 – Third Test, Perth (venue TBC)
26-30 December 2017 – Fourth Test, MCG.
4-8 January 2018 – Fifth Test, SCG.

Posted: 19th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


After Parsons Green, sympathy for the bombers

parsons green newspapers tabloids

 

“Is THIS the Tube bucket bomber?” (Daily Star). Or to put it another way, “ON HIS WAY TO BOMB TUBE?” (The Sun). Or “Is this the Bucket Bombed On Way To Tube?” (Daily Express). To which the answer is ‘Dunno, is it?’

All that cash once earmarked for pre-Leveson shag ‘n’ tells could to be used to investigate jihadis in our midst. But the big-budget tabloids are content with playing catch-up. So around a grainy photo of a figure dressed in a grey tracksuit carrying a Lidl shopping bag in Sunbury-on-Thames, we get to wonder if he’s the one who placed a bomb at Parsons Green station. And, of course, we don’t know what to make of the video caught on a homeowner’s CCTV. We also don’t know why a homeowner in leafy Surrey is filming the street. Is it a dangerous area?

The Express has more on the attack over pages 4 and 5. Two men have been arrested. One arrived in the UK when he was 15, having “fled” Iraq. He was fostered by Penelope Jones and Ronald Jones. The other man is 21. He’s an Iraqi refugee also once cared for by the Joneses. The couple’s neighbour says the lad “wanted to leave home”. Well, job done. Another neighbour says the 18-year-old “seemed a really nice chap”. But he “seemed to be up at unusual hours”. In the Mail, however, he’s a “tearaway” who “was held by police just two weeks ago at Parsons Green station”. The Mirror hears him called “out of control”.

In other news, the terror threat has been reduced from ‘critical’ to “severe”. Just two weeks ago, it was at ‘Armageddon’, what with North Korean threats and Hurricane Irma. We live in hyperbolic times.

Think Of The Children

In the Sun, we get to know the name of the 21-year-old suspect. He’s Yahyah Farroukhm who was pinched at Aladdins [sic] Fried Chicken in Hounslow, West London, not far from his home in Stanwell, which is within inhaling distance of Heathrow Airport. At the time of his arrest, Farroukh was carrying a Kitkat and a drink can, which he dropped. The Mail says he has posted about his passion for smoking weed and anti-Israel images. But if those interests mark your out as a jihadi, then so much the worst for snowflake students and the hard-Left, although neither of those groups would be seen dead with a high-sugar KitKat.

Only in the Mail do we see the story couched as an asylum issue. “Council struggle to cope with influx” of “thousands of troubled teenagers” says the paper. It counts them all: a “staggering 4,2010 asylum-seeking juveniles” in council care across Britain”. The Mail says this is not to say they are all nutcases, just to highlight how many “vulnerable” children could “fall prey to radicalisation”.

A few words from some loon on the internet, and the normal, caring lad morphs into a mass murderer. Well, so goes the narrative. What it misses, of course, is the bit about what draws people towards radical and violent Islam? Why do they think it’s a worthy cause?

Frank Furedi:

Policymakers and the media continually refer to young Muslims as ‘vulnerable to radicalisation’. The term ‘vulnerability’ suggests passivity, powerlessness and gullibility. It suggests, in short, that those called vulnerable lack the intellectual resources necessary to cope with challenges. No doubt there are some weak and confused individuals drawn towards the jihadist subculture. But the reality is that most people who travel to Syria, for example, do so because they are inspired by a cause they believe is worth fighting for. Often such individuals show a capacity for planning, dissimulation, inventiveness and, above all, initiative.

The idea of vulnerability invokes individual characteristics that are often the very opposite to those actually possessed by people making the risky voyage to the Middle East. Contrary to the myth of vulnerability, these young people are – albeit misguidedly – attempting to exercise a measure of agency over their life.

If the would-be killer is so vulnerable – groomed by sick adults – is he recast from perpetrator to victim? It’s not terrorism. It’s child abuse. And how can the vulnerable be protected? The Mail says we should clamp down on Google and all that easy-to-reach knowledge. Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP, agrees. “The internet giants have made it much harder for people to find child abuse images online,” she says. “It’s time they showed the same commitment to tackling terrorism.” See images of child rape and become a paedophile, goes the thinking? See instructions on bomb making and blow up the London Underground. To see is to download and do.

The terrorists will never win, comes the declaration. But if their aim is to reduce our hard-won freedoms and make us distrustful of adults, then the enemy is having some success.

Posted: 18th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


In 1967 the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined – wrong

Pop musical group, "The Monkees" are shown in this Oct. 20, 1966 photo. At top are: Peter Tork, right, and Mickey Dolenz. At bottom are: David Jones, left, and Mike Nesmith. (AP Photo)

 

 

Ever hear the story about how in 1967 The Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined? Rolling Stone, that bastion of factual news reporting, told us as much:

In 1967 the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

 

In 1967 the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

 

Incredible fact.

And it must be true because in 1986 the Washington Post told its readers:

In 1967 they sold 35 million albums, twice as many as the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

 

In 1967 they sold 35 million albums, twice as many as the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

 

In 2016, Vice repeated the fact:

In 1967, The Monkees TV show was a smashing success, and the self-titled album released to complement the show sold 35 million records, outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.

 

In 1967, The Monkees TV show was a smashing success, and the self-titled album released to complement the show sold 35 million records, outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.

 

The Daily Mail also backed up the fact:

They ended up being pretty much the biggest thing on the planet; in 1967 the ‘Prefab Four’, fronted by Jones, outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones

 

In 1967 the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

In 1967 the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

 

The story of The Monkees being bigger than The Beatles and Rolling Stones combined has made it into books:

 

 

And, of course, it’s on Wikipedia. In The Beatles Wikipedians, we learn:

 

Title: The Beatles Editor: By Wikipedians

 

All facts. And all utter balls. Mike Nesmith, one of The Monkees, tells us how the story came about in his autobiography Infinite TuesdayThe Monkees were in Australia. It was November 1977. Nesmith was being interviewed:

As we sat down for the interview, before he asked the first question, I told him that I was going to lie to him. He was taken aback, then seemed a little nonplussed and asked why. I said it was because I didn’t trust the press, that I didn’t expect him to tell the truth, so neither would I …

I said that some of the things I would say would be true and some false, and it was up to him to figure out which was which, according to the normal standards of journalistic responsibility. He asked how he would tell the difference between when I was lying and telling the truth, and I said, “You won’t. That is the point of the lie …”

Then came a point where he asked me about the sales of the Monkees records, and I saw the chance. It isn’t too well known, I said flatly, that we sold over thirty-five million records in 1967. More than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined … he diligently wrote all this down, and I wondered for a moment if I had chosen too outrageous a lie to tell, but it turned out it had been just right.

The next day in the paper, there it was, printed as fact.

Nesmith calls the story a “complete fabrication, totally bogus, class-A mendacity lie”. In 2015, Nesbitt told all to Gilbert Gottfried.

 

 

Fake news, eh. It’s nothing new.

Spotter: Tim Blair, Gilbert Gottfried

Posted: 17th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Parson’s Green bomb: Islamic State shop in Lidl and read the Daily Mail

The bomb on the London Underground is wrapped in a shopping bag. On the side you can read ‘Lidl’, the name of the German discount supermarket chain. That the bomb – believed to be a peroxide device – fails to detonate fully at Parson’s Green Tube station is blessed relief. But some of the 29 people injured are badly burnt by the explosion shortly after 8am.

 

 

One ay on the media tuck in.

In the absence of a bomber’s face to feature on the front pages, the paper opts instead for the bomb, and with the Lidl carrier bag it was contained within. Once a byword for cheap and trusty family goods, will Lidl become synonymous with terrorism? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Lidl has offered to assist a police investigation. The company states: “We are shocked and concerned to have learned of an incident at Parsons Green this morning and our thoughts are with those affected. We will, of course, support the authorities should they need our assistance in their investigations. We are closely monitoring the situation as it develops over the course of the day.”

Unenviable stuff.

Meanwhile…the Daily Mail blames another brand for an act of would-be mass murder.

ISIS Parsons green Lidl daily mail google

Got that? The Mail says that because knowledge can be accessed through Google rather than simply buying a book, say, or talking to someone on the phone, the messenger is to blame.

Like most of you, I have no idea how to build a bomb. But I did pick up a few pointers in the.. Daily Mail.

 

daily mail parson's green bomb

 

The Lidl coolbag was used to ‘keep the device stable’. Got it.

There’s more. After the Manchester bomb, the Mail captioned a photo: “Suicide bomber Salman Abedi carried the explosive in a metal container, believed to have been in a Karrimor backpack.” The paper said the bag costs £20.

Other tips came:

A 12-volt lead acid battery found at the scene suggest the makers were careful to reduce the risk of it not going off, experts say. It is more powerful than most seen in backpack bombs or suicide vests and is commonly used for emergency lighting.

If you want more, the Mail directed loons as to where more could be found:

AL-Qaeda has published detailed instructions on how to build a ‘hidden bomb’ to use to blow up a passenger jet… In the latest issue of its online magazine, Inspire, the group outlines how to make the bomb from household goods and without using metal components that would show up in airport security checks.

But hold on. The Mail has other news – bigger news:

 

How a hydrogen bomb works: North Korea's new device could yield a devastating blast thousands of times more powerful than Hiroshima or Nagasaki

 

‘Newspaper Giant Triggers Armageddon.’ What you won’t read in the Mail.

 

Posted: 16th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arse v Spuds battle of the rappaz: Arsenal and Spurs fans in excruciating music fight

Steel yourselves, readers, for this epic battle between fans of Arenal and Spurs.

First up: the Selly Oak Crew with You Just Got Kaned. With sincere apologies to Chas ‘n’ Dave, mum, dad, musicians and every poor sod who supported Spurs when they could have opted for the Arsenal.

 

 

But Spuds toughs don’t have it all their own way in North London. Here are the Away Boyz. proving that even with a bigger budget you can still come across as utterly ridiculous.

 

 

Posted: 15th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, Music, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


If you can pay the fee Facebook will hook you up with ‘Jew haters’

Thanks to ProPublicawe know that you can book adverts on Facebook that target anti-Semites. Most Facebook user of would ignore these ads, of course. Active Nazis are thin on the ground. And as the Jewish joke goes, “If anyone was going to hate us, thank God it’s the Arabs.” But Jew hating is increasingly popular. I am amazed and disappointed that here isn’t more outrage about rising anti-Semitism.

Propublica, whose stated mission is “to expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing” has Facebook in its crosshairs.

ProPublica says:

Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you. Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”

All this stuff exists offline. And thanks to the internet, readers and collectors of such racist nonsense can be monitored – all 2,300 of them in the gigantic Facebook ecosystem. I’d argue that if Facebook – owned by a Jew – can take their money, then good for them. Free speech and free thought are cornerstones of democracy. If people want to talk about hating Jews and conspiracy theories, let them.

So ProPublica paid £30 for “promoted posts” targeted at those Jew-hating Facebookers.

In all likelihood, the ad categories that we spotted were automatically generated… Facebook’s algorithm automatically transforms people’s declared interests into advertising categories.

Which begs the question: who programmed the computer?

Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook, has issued the following statement:

We don’t allow hate speech on Facebook. Our community standards strictly prohibit attacking people based on their protected characteristics, including religion, and we prohibit advertisers from discriminating against people based on religion and other attributes. However, there are times where content is surfaced on our platform that violates our standards. In this case, we’ve removed the associated targeting fields in question. We know we have more work to do, so we’re also building new guardrails in our product and review processes to prevent other issues like this from happening in the future.”

Of course, hate speech is free speech. That doesn’t mean you should set out to assault and intimidate people. It means you are free to say what you want and for it to be freely debated in public. Calling something hateful is too-often used to shut down free expression. So what did Facebook do wrong?

Ira Glasser, a former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, now president of the board of directors of the Drug Policy Alliance, nails it:

How is ‘hate speech’ defined, and who decides which speech comes within the definition? Mostly, it’s not us. In the 1990s in America, black students favoured ‘hate speech’ bans because they thought it would ban racists from speaking on campuses. But the deciders were white. If the codes the black students wanted had been in force in the 1960s, their most frequent victim would have been Malcolm X. In England, Jewish students supported a ban on racist speech. Later, Zionist speakers were banned on the grounds that Zionism is a form of racism. Speech bans are like poison gas: seems like a good idea when you have your target in sight — but the wind shifts, and blows it back on us.

You want to have official endoresment of what can be said? Surely not.

As for Facebook, well, it’s not a public service. It’s a profit-making company not a moralising force for spiritual salvation.

Posted: 15th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


From Real Madrid to Liverpool: Marco Asensio’s pimple and the steady emasculation of footballers

Real Madrid began their Champions League title defence with a routine win over APOEL. And they did it without Marco Asensio, 21, who has a pimple on his leg. Asensio’s manager Zinedine Zidane told media: “[Marco has] a pimple… which stopped him pulling up his socks.”

Asensio’s pimple, says local Madrid press, is a result of his shaving his legs.

Marco Asensio missing a match because a pimple got infected whilst shaving his legs might well be the most modern football story ever. We only hope it doesn’t get worse for Asensio when his teammates find out:

 

asensio pimple nivea

 

Footballers live on a diet of creams, depilated, patent skin and self-tanning unguents. Liverpool FC’s players don’t take two bottles into the shower, most likely preferring to take about ten into the almond milk bath before air drying in a wind of imported Fiji Breeze and enrobing their skin and hair in liquidised baby foreskins.

 

 

But it’s not just footballers. Man is falling in that most hairy-knuckled of spots: rugby. Gone are the days when the best you could hope for in a rugby union changing room was a bar of coal tar soap and a turd in your kit bag. Now you are more likely to find a range of hair and skin care products.

 

nivea real madrid leinster

 

O tempora, o mores!

Posted: 14th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Vagrants in Exeter are eating pigeons – but not everyone’s as happy as they should be

Feral pigeons in city centres are vermin. The good news is that homeless people in Exeter have taken it upon themselves to rid the city of these pests by eating them. But not everyone in the city is pleased that vagrants are both cleansing the city and beefing up for the coming winter on a diet of cheap protein.

Devon and Cornwall police are investigating. Police support community officer (PCSO) Sarah Giles has tweeted: “While doing the round of #sidwell street #exeter I have had news of #pigeons being captured for food. We will be looking into this.” Why? What crime has been committed?  Police do say it could be a case of causing the animals “unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006”.

But are wild pigeons, aka rock doves, protected? The Act states:

An animal is a “protected animal” for the purposes of this Act if—
(a) it is of a kind which is commonly domesticated in the British Islands,
(b) it is under the control of man whether on a permanent or temporary basis, or
(c) it is not living in a wild state.

Pigeons are covered by section (a) but legitimate pest control is not regarded as causing unnecessary suffering. All wild birds in the UK are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. And according to the BBC, “feral pigeons can legally be shot”. But what about bagged and then offed with, say, a full can of Tenants Super to the head before being eaten?

On the forums of The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, we’re told, “Feral (urban) pigeons are legal game with an air rifle.” Indeed, if you hold a ‘General License’ you can kill pigeons, both wood pigeons and feral birds. Government advice  runs: “You must still follow animal welfare laws and kill birds in a quick and humane manner. You can eat birds killed under this licence, but you can’t sell any for human consumption other than woodpigeons.” And you can use a cage trap.

Melissa Gill of Natural England, which oversees the General Licenses in England adds: “The licensee is at fault if he sells on the meat of a bird he has killed under licence – it is a condition of the licence which he is granted that he does not do that… It would not be illegal to eat it, so long as the individual could prove that they had not killed it and had discovered it dead.”

The laws on eating a feral pigeon are a tad confused. And if you eat them, they don’t suffer as a species. Trafford Council notes:

…for most pigeon problems, lethal methods are totally ineffective. They simply reduce competition for food and shelter, and the remaining birds increase their breeding rates to compensate. Although there is an immediate decrease, numbers soon recover, resulting in an endless cycle of killing and re-population

Forget GM crops. Pigeons are the answer to world hunger.

One local trader at Exeter’s Sidwell Street Market goes on the record. She says the pigeon fanciers seduce the birds with seed and stuff them in a sack. PCSO Giles then puts the vermin catching in context. “Many are alcoholics [the vagrants; not the pigeons], who to keep a certain consumption level, will drink continuously… now we’re eating pigeons, now we’re killing seagulls. It escalates.”

Good. If the vagrants can be directed towards rats, mice and cockroaches, Exeter may become the cleanest city in the land.

PS: On the Exeter City Council website, we read:

Sidwell Street market…

Please note, we are unable to accept applications from catering vans or fast food lines although we do have a limited number of pitches available for unusual street food.

Forget the sack and lighter fluid, lads. It’s a stall you need. Make ready with the retro pigeon a la mode, Spingo. The hipsters will come flocking.

Posted: 13th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Louella Michie is dead and the Press all ask: ‘Who is John Michie?’

louella michie

 

Louella Michie is not the subject of reports on her untimely death. The 25-year-old woman’s body was found dead on her birthday at the Bestival music festival. And ever since that unhappy discovery, the Press have been telling us who did not die: her father. The Daily Mail has produced 7 stories on Louella Michie’s unexplained death. It’s hard to spot Louella as the media zoom in on John Michie, her dad.

The Evening Standard had the news first, sticking to the facts. The body of a young London woman had been found at Dorset’s Bestival. Police were investigating. Murder was one line of enquiry.

Louella Michie

 

And then the media realised that the dead woman’s father is on the telly.  The pick of the front pages being the Daily Telegraph’s, which amid talk of her alleged ‘MURDER” described Louella as a “TV detective’s daughter”. John Michie had for a while appeared in Taggart, the Scottish detective show. In the twilight zone between fact and fiction, Telegraph readers might wonder if DI Robert “Robbie” Ross would be investigating.

 

 

louella michie murder bestival paper john

 

These are the Daily Mail’s headlines. See if you can spot Louella Michie:

Holby City and Coronation Street star John Michie insists death of his daughter, 25, at Bestival was an ACCIDENT as he mourns his ‘angel’ after a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder  – September 11th 2017, 11:54:26 am

Man held after daughter of Holby City star John Michie dies at Bestival – September 11th 2017

Man arrested over actor’s daughter’s death released under investigation – September 12th 2017

Drugs quiz for man held over death of daughter of Holby City´s John Michie – September 12th 2017

Holby City star’s daughter looked ‘odd and unsteady’ in the hours before she was found dead in secluded woods in drug-related death  – September 12th 2017

But our pick of the Mail’s barrage of stories on the death of ‘John Michie’s daughter’ is this one about Louella Michie taking the ice-bucket challenge:

The daughter of TV actor John Michie, took part in the internet craze.

Today’s story in the Mail begins in customary fashion, with the victim absent:

The rapper boyfriend of Holby City star John Michie’s daughter has been released by police after being arrested over her death at Bestival, with the actor’s family saying they believe the pair had taken drugs

As the Mail thinks the “dead girl” not worthy of mention by name, the Sun (nine stories so far) knows so little about Louella Michie it’s reduced to focusing on her looks. Today’s update begins:

A festival-goer claims the forest area where the green-eyed 25-year-old died had been used by drug dealers and that she “didn’t look very well” when spotted before her death

As police investigate the death so other green-eyed women and look for a pattern, Sun readers find Louella Michie missing from the paper’s headlines:

FESTIVAL TRAGEDY – Holby City star John Michie’s daughter Louella was found dead at Bestival – 13 September 2017

Pals reveal Holby City star’s tragic girl looked ‘unsteady and odd’ in woods used by drug dealers before she died at Bestival as boyfriend is released by cops – 13 September 2017

BESTIVAL SUSPECT RELEASED Boyfriend of Holby star John Michie’s tragic daughter is released as her devastated family say ‘there was no malice’ in her death – 12 September 2017

BESTIVAL PROBE Man held on suspicion of ‘murder’ over Holby star’s daughter is also being quizzed over supply of Class A drugs – 12 September 2017

BESTIVAL DEATH DASH – Holby City star made 130 mile 1am dash to Bestival after WhatsApp map pinpointed where his daughter was found dead – 12 September 2017

DAYS BEFORE DEATH  – John Michie posted haunting photo of daughter sewing outfit for Bestival days before she was found dead – 12 September

HOLBY PAL’S HEARTACHE Strictly star’s heartbreaking message to Holby co-star after his daughter is found dead at Bestival – 11 September

But top prize goes in the John Michie news frenzy goes to the Daily Mirror, which has published no fewer than 11 stories on Louella Michie’s dad, the pick of which being:

Who is John Michie? Tragedy as ex-Coronation Street star’s daughter confirmed dead at Bestival

At a guess, we’d say he’s  man grieving for his daughter.

Posted: 13th, September 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Yid Army: Spurs fans should rejoice at Chelsea stupidity

spurs yids

 

So terrible was the sound of Chelsea fans hailing (surely heil-ing? – ed) new striker Alvaro Morata with a song about him hating “The Yids” that the Football Association is launching an investigation. How it means to investigate the chant directed at Spurs and its self-styled ‘Yid Army’ is unsaid. But reports abound that the FA contacted Chelsea in an effort to identify the individuals singing the song. The Telegraph adds that the FA is also expected to seek talks with “other authorities”, such as the Church of England, perhaps, the UN and the thought police.

 

 

It had all been looking so promising. Chelsea appealed for their fans to stop singing the song because it upset Morata. “We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game,” said Chelsea’s spokesman. “He does not want to be connected with that song in any way and both the club and the player request the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

This was grown-up stuff. No need for the police to get involved.

Chelsea appeared to recognise that fans create their own rules and solidarities. Some Tottenham Hotspur supporters formed the Yid Army, a group proud of the club’s large contingent of Jewish fans in an historically Jewish area using ‘Yids’ and ‘Yiddos’ to empower. I know of a fair few Jews who having faced real and violent anti-Semitism find the punchy sounds of ‘Yid Army’ and the rolling ‘We are the Yids/ We are the Yids / We are the Yids are we’ enjoyable. Some Chelsea fans joined the National Front, hurled abuse at black footballers and sang songs about gassing Jews. You pick your side and go with it.

And here’s the thing: not every Chelsea fan who says Morata hates the Yids is a full-on Nazi. They are most likely not anti-Semitic, either. In the context of football rivalry the Chelsea fan seething about ‘Yiddish scum‘ is not doing so because he’s a white supremacist, jihadi or far-Left activist calling for the systematic extermination of world Jewry. What drives the vast majority of Chelsea fans hymning Morata is the heartfelt desire to see Spurs fail.

Deprived of a proper local rival, Chelsea fans have scouted around other London teams and found Spurs to their liking. It is Spurs’ fellow North Londoners Arsenal, of course, who are the Lilywhites true rivals, and it’s largely down to Chelsea’s Jewish owner Roman Abramovich’s billions that the Blues have escaped those traditional big derby days with Fulham.

Sing What We Want

Football chants have meaning in the context of the game. Banning chants – censoring words; arresting people for saying them – is the stuff of loons. People will always find a way to insult each other through language.

In 2013 the FA and anti-racist campaigners commanded Spurs fans to stop singing about ‘Yids’. Spurs fans responded by declaring “We’ll sing what we want to”. All fans should rejoice in that. Sing what you want. And if Chelsea fans want to upset their star player and their club by labelling Morata an anti-Semite, Spurs fans should only smile at his pain.

 

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Leave sex out of gender roles – it’s scaring the kids

pink blue gender sex

 

What are your criteria for selecting your children’s school clothes? Washability, durability, affordability, practicality and compliance to a dress code? What about if you see your children’s wardrobe as a chance to define your politics and your values.

And there’s the individuality. That dress isn’t just pretty, on-trend and like the one the pop star wears; it’s an explainer, an insight into the wearer’s anxieties, life goals and morals. The dress is useful if your six-year old boy is considering transitioning to girlhood, but terrible for girls, who should be wearing gender-neutral tracksuits and John Lewis’s non-stereotyping clothes “for boys and girls”.

Should the choice to dress as a boy or a girl be only for those children agonising over their gender? How does it further transgender rights and acceptance to present them as a special case?

 

Rowe family dressing as gender sex

 

Priory School in East Sussex, a mixed co-ed, has banned skirts, ordering girls and boys to wear grey trousers and shirt, jumper and tie. How is limiting what a girl can wear progressive?

Which brings us to the Rowes, who’ve removed their six-year-old son from a Church of England primary school on the Isle of Wight because a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress. Last year they removed their 8-year-old from the same school when a boy in his class also started wearing dresses. Both will now be home-schooled.

Sally Rowe, 42, and Nigel, 44, plan to sue. Says Mr Rowe: “Our concerns were raised when our son came back home from school saying he was confused as to why and how a boy was now a girl. We believe it is wrong to encourage very young children to embrace transgenderism. Boys are boys and girls are girls. Gender dysphoria is something we as Christians need to address with love and compassion, but not in the sphere of a primary school environment.”

A Diocese of Portsmouth spokesman adds: “Our schools are inclusive, safe spaces where pupils learn to respect diversity of all kinds. We comply with the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and believe that all should feel welcomed, valued and nurtured as part of a learning community.”

 

 

This alters gender from a fact into a problem. It recasts children not as pupils in academia, but as trainee adults conditioned to do away with today’s adult issues. Train the children to be gender neutral and gender-fluid and  – whammo! – you can eradicate sexism, misogyny and the gender pay-gap. All those life-limiting stereotypes that stopped women getting the vote and told men to suck up the pain and soldier on are gone faster than you can say “unisex toilets”. Women will no longer feel a need to stuff silicone balloons in their chests and men won’t spend years of their lives bulking up in the gym.

 

 

The problem is that the boy rather likes wearing blue, dinosaurs and playing football; and the girl likes pink and belting our songs in front of the mirror and nail polish. They don’t have to. Ballet dresses (girls) and monster trucks (boys) are not prerequisites of girlhood and boyhood, respectively. They are society’s norms against which you can rebel and test the boundaries. And doing so makes for a more – dread – diversity.

Things get messier when you link it all to sex. You can wear a dress and be a man. You can wear a business suit and be a girl. You can expand what is is to be male and female. But your biological sex cannot be ended because you prefer dresses to trousers. The boy won’t experience childbirth and menstruation because he feels better in girl’s clothes; just as the girl in trousers won’t grown testicles.

The smart move is to challenge gender roles but leave sex out of it. After all, as all adolescents know, every new generation invented sex.

Images: Artist JeongMee Yoon – Pink & Blue Project.

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Paul Hollywood’s Nazi shame – Bake Off star battered

Paul Hollywood, 51, once pulled on a Nazi uniform and strode into the White Stag pub in Monkon, Kent. His wife was dressed a member of the French Resistance, albeit unarmed and of a sort imagined by writers of British sex comedies (low cut top, perky beret, fishnets and lots of ooooo-la-la).

 

paul hollywood nazi

 

That Hollywood pretended to be a Nazi officer 14 years ago as part of a private fancy dress do is neither here nor there.

The British public accord unquestioning respect to presenters on TV cooking show The Great British Bake Off, and as a role model for impressionable amateur bakers, Hollywood should be rightfully shamed. Yes, the Pope wore a Nazi uniform, often, so too Kurt Waldheim, the fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prince Harry, and rockers like Lemmy, Keith Moon, Siouxsie Sioux, Sid Vicious and Brian Jones also pulled on the feldgrau and Swastika, but they never made cakes on the telly. And for that we should be grateful.

 

Keith Moon Nazi

Keith Moon

 

Pricne Harry NAzi

 

Ed Balls Nazi

Former Labour Party MP and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

 

“I am absolutely devastated  if this cased offence to anyone.” says Paul, whose picture emerged in yesterday’s Sun. “Everyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly proud of the effort of those, including my own grandfather, who fought the Nazis during the war.”

In the Daily Mail, the paper that once infamously cheered for Hitler’s blackshirts, we hear not advice on how to sport the Nazi uniform and why Hollywood’s get-up is an affront to the shirt, rather the words of former Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh, who opined on Twitter: “Absolutely creasin at pple telling me: “IT WAS TEN YEARS AGO” as is the Nazis weren’t bad back then.”

To say nothing of them not being on he telly all that much.

We march at dawn.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea asks fans to police themselves but abusing Spurs is all part of the game

yid army Morata Chelsea Spurs

 

Chelsea want their fans to stop hailing new striker Alvaro Mora with the song: “He came from Real Madrid he fucking hates the Yids.” ‘The Yids’ is, for those of not au fait with footballing abuse, a reference to Tottenham Hotspur football club. The rich irony being, of course, that Chelsea are owned by Roman Abramovich, a Jew. Mr Abramovich is Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. This might be a shock to the Chelsea goon who in the early 1980s sniffed my friend and hymned: “Fe-fi-fo-fum, I smell Yiddish scum.”

In blood, Abramovich is more of a yid than Spurs’ Harry Kane. But this isn’t really about racism. This is about finding ways to insult the opposition and upset their fans.

Most Spurs fans couldn’t give a toss about the song. The club’s self-styled Yid Army demand to sing what they want to, and good on them. The press ridiculously call it “The Y-word” (Daily Mail), fetishising the word through censorship, making it all the more exciting and daring to say aloud.

Chelsea have issued a statement:

“The club and the players appreciate the fans passionate support away from home, of course, but the language in that song is not acceptable at all.  We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

That’s a rather clever twist on the usual ham-fisted demands for football fans to stop saying things or else. If Chelsea fans are annoying their own new star turn, then surely they’ll stop singing the song. It’s progress. Chelsea are not threatening fans with the police or lifetime expulsion from watching the team for the crime of singing songs. They’re politely asking for the fans to sort it out amongst themselves.

Good-oh.

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (13) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0