Key Posts Category
“I SAY to you this, America. And this I say to you. Barack Obama is your President. He is my President. He is the…” There is something dull about Obama. He words swoop and soar but land on nothing. You want a definite but all you get is emotion. In place of precision, you get talk of change and hope. We know he’s busy. Things need doing. But in public, his words sound empty, a contrived, bland blend of Woody Guthrie’s homage to America (This Land is Your Land), the Narrator in a child’s Nativity show and self-improvement books. And somehow, Obama’s speaking makes the everyday sound bigger. He says “a decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun.” Does that America has won the war? Is the recession over? No need for details. He has decreed it. And thus is shall be…
Here are the photos of Obama’s inauguration. Sorry, not photos These are the pictures of humanity that can take us forward. These photos can be pinned to your walls of your home, church, mosque, synagogue and classroom. They can be seen by a white man at a desk, a Muslim woman on her way to pray, a Jewish girl with a pierced navel and a Hispanic woman with three kids to feed and a husband watching the nation’s athletes on his television set. A picture taken in Washington by a woman from Arizona of a man from Chicago that can be framed by wood taken from our great forests and hung by the metal hook mined by toil and endeavour from beneath our huddled feet.
AN ambulance crew took more than 40 minutes to reach a critically ill baby because they were on a lunch break, his parents said last night. Eight-week-old Thomas Passant “died” for four minutes before being resuscitated after a heart attack and is still fighting for his life. He has undergone 14 hours of open-heart surgery and faces a life of disability.
Parents Kate Oram and Matthew Passant called West Midlands Ambulance Service after Thomas had a cardiac arrest at their home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, on December 17. They were stunned when the operator told them the crew was unavailable as it was on a lunch break.
IT’S Cold. But it’s not as cold as it was in 1963. Back then, Siberian winds froze the sea and London’s waterways. The Royal Navy used an icebreaker to keep Chatham dockyard open. Children at schools used whatever was to hand to smash the ice in toilets. In Wales, water was rationed. The fierce winds and driven snow meant that the 3rd round of the FA Cup took 66 days to complete.
It was this cold:
ABOVE is the graphic the Wall Street Times published to illustrate its story about rising taxes in the US.
SO. David Bowie’s somewhat nondescript new single hit number one, and the newspapers are hailing his new album as a masterpiece, as they have done with every album he has produced since his last commercially successful ‘LP’ (as then was) 33 years ago.
Those themselves under the age of 33 might be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about, but the fact is that Bowie remains the sole pop artist worthy of standing alongside the giants of the 1960s. Between 1969 and 1977 he produced a series of albums to rank, in their range and quality, with those of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Who and the rest. Some would go further and argue that his mid-sixties, late seventies and early eighties work deserves equal billing too.
IN Esquire, you can read an interview with Megan Fox. Stephen Marche reports. Highlights are many. Fox has a history of delivering airy bon mots. You can read out collection of her best here. After this article, however, that will need updating:
He likes her looks:
The symmetry of her face, up close, is genuinely shocking. The lip on the left curves exactly the same way as the lip on the right. The eyes match exactly. The brow is in perfect balance, like a problem of logic, like a visual labyrinth. It’s not really even that beautiful. It’s closer to the sublime, a force of nature, the patterns of waves crisscrossing a lake, snow avalanching down the side of a mountain, an elaborately camouflaged butterfly. What she is is flawless.
(Marche cold always get a job at the Sun.)
STACIE Halas, 32, will not be teaching class in California. The middle school teacher with the porn actress past (photos NSFW) has been deemed “unfit” for purpose. In April, 2012, Halas was removed from her post as a science teacher at Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard after students and teachers “discovered” her porno past.
She had not worked in porn whilst a teacher in the district.
A HELICOPTER has crashed in central London. Why? How?
Two people are dead. One of them is the pilot. Another person is critically ill.
The Mail gives the pilot a showbiz bio:
RotorMotion pilot Pete Barnes, 50, worked on films such as Die Another Day, Tomb Raider II and Saving Private Ryan
Rolling news quote of the day:
BBC News 24 anchor stating: “This is the last thing a helicopter pilot would want to happen.”
The helicopter hit the crane on the St George Wharf development in Vauxhall in thick fog shortly after 8am.
The aircraft was a AgustaWestland AW109, a lightweight, twin-engine helicopter with eight seats.
Chris Yates, an independent aviation expert, told Sky News:
“Helicopters are not supposed to come within 500 feet of any structure such as a high-rise building, so we don’t know what caused the pilot to get quite so close. We don’t know the circumstances he was operating in at the time – whether there was a problem with the helicopter itself, whether he misread his instructions or received false instructions from air traffic control.”
Guido Fawkes wonders if the lights atop Vauxhall tower was on. Tweets from last year suggesting that sometimes it was not.
Mark Louis Sidney told Sky News:
“I heard a loud bang, I looked up and saw bits of propeller and parts of the aircraft falling off it and then plummeting down. Then a plume of smoke went up. I called the emergency services. It happened in a matter of a seconds before it was on the ground. I thought ’Wait a minute, has this thing been shot out of the sky or what?’. I could see the top of the crane was shaking on the top of the building. It was very foggy so the helicopter probably couldn’t see it.”
Chris Matthison tells the BBC:
“There was some damage to the crane. It’s possible the crane is lying across Nine Elms road. The top of the nearest building is steeped in mist and difficult to see.”
Michael Krumstets tells the Guardian:
“The helicopter nearly killed me and my flatmate. We were right next to it, just feet away from where it exploded. We we were walking to work and saw the helicopter clip the top of the crane – there was a loud crack – and it came spinning out of control towards us. I just can’t believe what I saw, it was awful. When you see a helicopter hurtling out of the sky towards you, spinning, your legs turn to jelly, you have a sense of shock. My flatmate fell over, I had to run back to grab him. It missed us by just a few feet, it was just so lucky.”
Mike Moody (Times):
“We woke up to the sound of an explosion and then screems. (I) looked out of the window and saw a woman screaming, saw the smoke and we ran for it basically. I’m still in my pyjamas with my jeans over the top. The smoke was very very close to our flat; it was literally the building next door and so we went outside and we saw there was till what sounded like explosions – I assume it was the cars. There was a land rover, a black land rover that was on fire at about 5 to 10 metres from my door, just on the corner of Miles Street and Wandsworth road which were people trying to put out but other people were saying we’ve got to move because that will explode. Some of the construction workers from where the crane was told us just basically said everyone move now this is really, really dangerous. Go. We left. ”
“There was someone in the range rover that was on fire but he got out. It was only a small fire on the bonnet at the time. He was taken out of the car by the consturction workers, they pulled him out. It looked like Baghdad. Lots of people screaming, crying. No-one really sure what was going on. I rang my mum at 5 minutes past 8 and we left at 6 minutes past 8 because that’s when I rang her back to say we’d been told to move.“
BBC journalist: “Did you think it was a terrorist attack…?”
Sarah-Beth Casey told Sky News:
“You’re always worried about things like 9/11 and things like that. I have three small children with me in the flat. It’s one of your fears that something like this can happen. When I heard the explosion – it was like a little earthquake … a gas explosion. I looked up to see debris falling off the tower.”
Ray Watts (Times):
“It looked like 9/11 with bits falling everywhere. There was about 20 of us outside the building and we all started running. Some went into the security hut but it was just a wooden shack so they soon got out. I just legged it across the road and when I looked back I saw the crane boon land on my truck. There was stuff coming down everywhere.”
The Government announcement
From: Government Whips Admin Unit (HOC)
Sent: 16 January 2013 08:47
Subject: Travel disruption
Following a helicopter crash in Vauxhall this morning colleagues should be aware there will be serious travel disruption in the area.
You may need to leave earlier in time for the deferred division.
Government Pairing Whip
Witnesses said the helicopter – which left Gatwick Airport, Sussex, at 7:36am and was heading to Elstree, Hertfordshire, to collect an executive – was using the route of the River Thames and hit a crane at the top of the tower near Vauxhall Bridge in Vauxhall, central London, at 8am.
Pilots flying helicopters over London are subject to air traffic control clearance. If they are flying over central London they must have twin-engined aircraft. Those flying one-engined aircraft must follow the route of the River Thames when operating in the capital.
HELICOPTER ROUTES IN THE LONDON CTR AND LONDON/CITY CTR
A section of the Crane lays in Nine Elms Lane, after crashing to the ground close to St George’s Wharf tower building, where a Helicopter crashed into this morning, in Vauxhall south London.
General View of Rotormotion at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey from where the helicopter piloted by Pete Barnes set of before crashing to the ground close to St George’s Wharf tower in Vauxhall, South London after the pilot attempted to divert due to bad weather.
Undated handout photo of the AgustaWestland 109 (AW109) Power
ONE recurring theme of the The Maury Povich Show is the paternity test. When the results come in, some see it as reason to celebrate:
SUGAR was in limited supply during WOrld War 2. Sugar was the first food the US rationed, in the spring of 1942.
WHEN 86-year-old Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner married 26-year-old Playmate bride Crystal Harris there was a cake. Atop the mixture of sponge and Viagra was a picture of Hefner dressed in his red housecoat cradling his new beter half. Think Nosferatu with Rogaine and implants, or Dracula (see below). Around the base was a massive Ken-sperm dressed in a tuxedo stood beside a miniature love doll of Ivana Trump.
LISA Cameron Smith saw the Costa Concordia founder. She lives on Giglio, the island where the Italian cruise ship floundered. Thirty-two people died.
The conduct of skipper Francesco Schettino remains under the spotlight. She tells the Times:
“If I was him I would be on that boat. Probably, I would have been with those who died.”
SHARON Osbourne says Lady GaGa is a bully:
“I am calling you a bully because you have 32 million followers hanging on your every word and you are criticizing Kell. Are you so desperate that you needed to make this public?”
THE shows they loved to hate:
The BBC is under fire again – this time for its new sitcom Way To Go, which finds humour in the subject of assisted suicide. It comes hot on the heels of a tabloid fury over Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year, in which jaded drunken luvvies made tedious jokes about the Queen.
THE London Underground turns 150 today. The first stretch of the world-famous network opened on January 9 1863, with the first passenger journeys taking place the following day. The Tube is place where you can be kind, funny and utterly miserable:
In this photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, a commemorative sign detailing when the station was opened and refurbished, displayed at Baker Street underground station in London. The world’s first subway system marked its 150th anniversary Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, with reports showing conditions way back when were much as they are today: Busy, congested and stressful for passengers.
The original artwork for the London Underground map which goes on display at the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden
THE papers are pretty unanimous: Luis Suarez is a cheat. The Liverpool striker is cheat who robbed “plucky” Mansfield Town of FA Cup glory in the third round, ripping the romance of the FA Cup to smithereens. “Caught red-handed,” said the Times. “You cheat!” thundered the Sun. “Suarez handball KO’s Brave Stags.” But it’s not only foreign Suarez the papers hate. It’s football.
Not so long ago, Team GB were scooping Olympic medals in the Velodrome. In one race, the lads took men’s team sprint at London 2012. The Telegraph cheered:
Sir Chris Hoy and Great Britain’s team sprint squad claimed a glorious gold medal record in the men’s final tonight, breaking the world record in both the semi-final and then again in the final when they defeated France, posting an almost unbelievable time of 42.600sec.
SARA Ege, 33, beat her son, Yaseen, to death in 2010. She then burnt his body. Yaseen was 7. At Cardiff Crown Court, she’s been sentenced to life behind bars. Sara Ege was born in India. She wanted her son to be a hafiz. For that, he needed to learn the Koran off by heart.For three months, Sara Ege beat her son with a wooden pestle at the family home in Pontcanna, Cardiff.
The words of Peter Murphy, defending, are odd:
“It’s very easy to be critical of the amount of things Yaseen was doing, but that was the norm in the ethnic community she was from. You can see this from the number of other children who were doing Arabic and Koran classes. Yaseen grew up with it and he thoroughly enjoyed it.”
ONE of the stories you might start hearing about soon enough is the American trillion dollar (yes, trillion, that’s one thousand billion) platinum coin. It;s actually possible that they might go ahead and mint one.
Bit difficult to get change for it but….yet still, here is your handy cut out and keep guide to what is going on.
Yes, the US government has a large debt. It is also running a large deficit: so that debt is getting bigger all the time. So far so damn like every other country at present. However, in the US they also have something called the “debt ceiling”. This is the maximum amount that congress has said that the Federal Government can borrow.
Now, they can raise this number whenever they want: as they have done multiple times in the past. But there’s always a certain amount of haggling when they do so. Various Senators who might vote against it are promised new defense plants for their states, that sort of thing.
IS Luis Suarez, Liverpool’s unlovely striker, a cheat? Let’s see what the experts say of the man who used a hand to set up his side’s crucial second goal against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup. Oh, the romance. The rules seem pretty obvious:
In Fifa’s Laws of the Game 2005, Law 12:
… a free-kick or penalty will be awarded if a player “handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)”.
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences: • unsporting behaviour
What say the experts?
Premier League referee David Elleray:
“Referees look at two specifics – did the hand or arm go towards the ball or in a manner which would block the ball, or is the hand in a position where it would not normally be? The challenging decisions are if the defending player spreads their arms to make themselves bigger. If the ball hits the arm then the referee must decide whether this action was to deliberately block the ball or whether the player has raised their arms to protect themselves – especially if the ball is hit at speed.”
INDIA is reeling with the gang rape and death of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. So, who thought it good idea to sell a rape cocktail at the Bonobo, in Mumbai, India? Was it bar owner Nevile Timbadia? The women of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) believe he to be the brains behind the ‘Balatkari’ (Balaatcar) brew.
ALFIE Fripp has died. Fripp was the last surviving British prisoner of war on World War 2. He was 98. The RAF man was shot down by the Luftwaffe during a reconnaissance mission in 1939. He was imprisoned at 12 different PoW camps. So. What did you do in the war, then? What was life like back then for the prisoners? These photographs of Allied prisoners give us a hint:
The Conservative parliamentary party should be more representative of the population. It is good news that in recent years the Conservative Party has made steady progress in increasing the number of its ethnic MPs. In 2005 just two Conservative MPs were from Britain’s ethnic minorities, in 2010 the figure had risen to eleven.
THE Top Ten Newspaper corrections of 2012:
The New York Times:
An article on Monday about Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students with Asperger syndrome who are navigating the perils of an intimate relationship, misidentified the character from the animated children’s TV show “My Little Pony” that Ms. Lindsmith said she visualized to cheer herself up. It is Twilight Sparkle, the nerdy intellectual, not Fluttershy, the kind animal lover.
C.W. Nevius’ column about Most Holy Redeemer banning drag queen performers incorrectly stated that entertainer Peaches Christ appeared at an event at the church’s hall with a dildo shaped like a crucifix. He did not appear at the event, nor does he use the prop.
PAUL from Clerkenwell calls Julia Hartley-Brewer on LBC to talk about benefit cards: