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Roald Dahl: Royal Mint rejected writer over his anti-semitism

Roald DAhl beer

 

You won’t see a coin that commemorates the life of Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) because the Royal Mint was put off by the author’s antisemitic views. The Guardian says the Royal Mint’s planned to produce a coin in 2014 to coincide with the centenary of Dahl’s birth. But this was stopped when it was decided that Dahl was  “not regarded as an author of the highest reputation”.

Instead of Dahl, the Mint opted for coins to mark the lives of William Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter.

The decision was made despite the Royal Mail honouring the children’s author with a set of commemorative stamps celebrating his books, many of which have been adapted into films. These include Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG.

The minutes state: “The themes set out below were considered but not recommended. 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl. Associated with antisemitism and not regarded as an author of the highest reputation.”

In 1983…Dahl told the New Statesman: “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”

 

anti-Semitic new statesman kosher conspiracy

The Labour Party supporting New Statesman had a question that might have been rhetorical. Roald Dahl never edited the publication.

 

Dahl told the Independent in 1990:

“I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become antisemitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism. I think they should see both sides. It’s the same old thing: we all know about Jews and the rest of it. There aren’t any non-Jewish publishers anywhere, they control the media – jolly clever thing to do – that’s why the president of the United States has to sell all this stuff to Israel … ”

So instead of Roald Dahl, we got coins for Potter, the woman who opined: “The strongest impelling motive of the Jewish race is love of profit as distinct from any other form of money earning.”

What is is about wealthy, guilt-ridden Christian anti-Semites and their hatred for Jews who work in the face of prejudice to be as successful as they are?

Spotter: Guardian

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Grenfell: Six people arrested over burning of cardboard model; no-one arrested over 72 deaths

Grenfell fire bonfire night

 

Six people have been arrested over a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower burning on Bonfire Night in someone’s private garden. Someone filmed the pre-medicated idiocy – the Tower was populated with paper faces stuck at the windows – and stuck it on WhatsApp. Lots of other people saw the video when it reached Twitter and Facebook, and became understandably upset. So six arrests have been made – that’s six more than have been arrested for any part in the actual fire in which 72 people lost their lives.

The six have been arrested on suspicion of committing a public order offence. Which offence is unclear. It could be a hate crime, but, then, what isn’t? Under the Public Order Act, racially or religiously aggravated offences carry a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both. What is the sentence for being a bellend who made a despicable video? Is making an offensive joke in private a crime? Maybe Theresa May, the actual prime minister, who called the video “utterly unacceptable”, can advise?

 

Burning effigies of people for a laugh. Artist Frank Shepherd puts the finishing touches to the Edenbrige Bonfire Society Celebrity Guy which has been unveiled as the model Jordan and featuring the faces of former husband Peter Andre and current partner Alex Reid.

 

On the video, onlookers can be heard shouting “Help me! Help me!” and “Jump out the window!” A kind soul says: “All the little ninjas getting it at the minute”. Ninjas appears to be a slight on Muslim women who wear the veil. Another quips: “That’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent.”

Police have been visibly concerned and swift to act. They swooped on a home in South Norwood, south London. Things were taken away. Moyra Samuels, from the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, say the video “doesn’t represent ordinary British people”. No-one said it did, did they? “But there is a worrying rise of racism in this country at the moment. And that is concerning, because it’s now starting to impact on us directly, which means that we actually need to be thinking what we do about this, and how we respond to this as a whole.”

If found guilty, the media and judiciary will name them. And we can all realise that we’re reading about people mocking others who died in horrific circumstances because it’s a rare event – thankfully – and not an inspiration.

UPDATE: The alleged nasties have been named in the media. The Times:

Five men aged 19-55 and from south London are being held on suspicion of public order offences after handing themselves into a police station last night. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police are searching a property in South Norwood, south London, where two of the suspects, Clifford Smith, 49, and his son Bobbi Connell, 19, are believed to have hosted a bonfire night party on Saturday…

Mr Smith and Mr Connell were arrested with Paul Bussetti, also from south Norwood, a 49-year-old man from Lambeth and a 55-year-old man from Beckenham. All are suspected of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act.

Mr Connell’s grandfather, David Connell, told Mail Online: “It’s an appalling thing to do given the tragic loss of life. It’s in dreadfully bad taste and utterly shocking and I don’t condone it at all. I don’t know what they were thinking.”

 

 

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


England book a one-night stand with former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney

In its desperation for bums on seats and to milk the England brand, the FA have commissioned Wayne Rooney for a one-might stand. The former Manchester United striker and England captain has been picked to play in a friendly against the USA at Wembley. The match has been called “The Wayne Rooney Foundation International”, but the Times says the player’s eponymous organisation won’t get a penny. The charity will only benefit if fans who’ve forked out for the privilege of seeing Rooney play in an England testimonial make their own donations on match day. Putting the tin lid on they box of balls is Rooney’s desire to were his old No.10 jersey.

The FA is expected to earn up to £3 million in ticket sales for the match.

Disappointingly, Gareth Southgate, the England manager, backs the plan and has spouted the usual X-Factor-style balls: “Acknowledging the Three Lions legacy has been a major part of our journey with this group of young players and Wayne Rooney is a hugely significant part of that history.” It’s marketing 101. Call England the ‘Three Lions’? Tick. Guff on about a “journey”. Tick. Talk of legacies. Tick.

In other Wayne Rooney news, an alleged one-night stand with these people was a lot cheaper:

 

Gina McCarrick

Picture 1 of 4

In a Sunday Mirror exclusive, 37-year-old brunette Gina McCarrick, dressed in her favoured cowgirl outfit, said: 'Wayne didn't turn me on at all. He was ugly. He had a face like a smacked arse.' Rooney later confessed to having visted the den around 10 times.

 

 

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


Charlene White gets the Poppy Day row right

The usual mouth breathers have been having a go at Charlene White over her refusal to wear a poppy onscreen while reading the news. She’s made an entirely fair point about this, has Ms. White, but she’s not in fact correct about the poppy wearing either. Really, rather the point of the whole exercise is to remember those who fought so we’d have the freedom to wear a poppy or not as we wish. This is something the Royal British Legion at least understands.

The mouthbreathers:

ITV News presenter Charlene White has explained why she will not wear a poppy while on screen after receiving a wave of online abuse.

The 38-year-old was most recently called a “f*****g disrespectful c***” this week after she didn’t wear a poppy while delivering the news.

One person on Twitter said: “If @CharleneWhite isn’t willing to wear a poppy she shouldn’t be on our TV screens. She’s more than happy taking a wage out of this country. F*****g disrespectful c***.”

Yes, quite, delightful isn’t it. By the way, it’s not the country that pays her wage, it’s the advertisers, the people who cough up the money to put those little bits inbetween the programs.

Charlene White as responded on Twitter:

 

The explanation is that she supports a number of charities. And she’s not allowed to support them on air, wearing the right ribbon for this or that. The poppy, yes, that can be worn, that has a special exception. But she’s not happy with supporting just the one – if she can’t support all, then none.

No, we don’t have to agree with this but we do have to understand it. But then, as the Royal British Legion says, that choice is rather the point in the first place:

A spokesperson for The Royal British Legion said: “We take the view that remembrance honours the sacrifices and contributions our Armed Forces community have made in defence of freedom, and so how people choose to remember, or not to, must be a matter of personal choice.

“If remembrance became compulsory it would lose its meaning and significance.”

Quite so. Or, as we might put it, Charlene White is exercising the freedom those fought and died for by deciding for herself whether to wear the poppy or not, when and where. That’s actually the damn point.

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Liverpool: Gonk denies Mo Salah statue looks like her

salah statue

Mo Salah: football’s ‘Leo Sayer’

 

Egyptian sculptor Mia Abdel Allah’s work is the subject of much appraisal after her statue of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was unveiled in the Liverpool player’s home country. On view in Sharm el-Sheikh, the statue is part gonk part Leo Sayer – and yes, they are not one and the same.

 

 

Abdel Allah says she found the pose “distinguished and executable”, according to the Egyptian Independent.

 

Mo Salah statue

Mo Salah

 

 

Distinguished? Maybe. Executable? Off with his head!

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The European Court of Human Rights has the final say on Amaral’s pay

McCann amaral

 

Madeleine McCann returns to the fore with news that Gonçalo Amaral, the “poisonous, grazing, shambles” ex-copper, has made money from her story. How much the Sun has made from ‘Our Maddie’ stories is not calculated, but the missing child is on the paper’s front-page once more so her face must shift copies. Amaral has apparently made £350,000 from his book, the Truth of the Lie, and a DVD. This, says the paper, is a “fortune” – the kind of money that buys a studio flat in a decent bit of London.

On page 7, we spot the McCanns, Kate and Gerry. The Sun says they’re challenging the Amaral decision at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They are taking on the Portuguese State not Amaral, as the Portuguese Resident website notes. The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral’s book but saw the decision reversed on appeal – a move supported by Portugal’s Supreme Court. Contesting that ruling at the ECHR is, says the Sun, the McCann’s “final effort to avoid paying £750,000 compensation to the man who cruelly claimed Maddie’s parents covered up her death” in May 2007. The McCanns deny any part in their daughter’s disappearance.

Can the ECHR come good for the Brits? Let’s see what the Sun has had to say about the court in the past:

A third of those who have won against Britain at the European Court of Human Rights are terrorists, prisoners or criminals, figures show.Among claimants the court found in favour of since 1975 are murderers, terrorists in Iraq and IRA gunmen. It [the figures] is a response to criticisms of the Strasbourg court by Tory ministers and The Sun… Commons Justice Committee chairman Bob Neill MP said: “This is well beyond what any sensible person would say is real human rights. It’s mission creep, law made by judges who are not judges and many from countries with questionable human rights and very little judicial experience.” – “European Court of Killers’ Rights”, the Sun 2016.

 

 

Via ‘The Sun gets regulator reprimand and publishes correction for misleading on European human rights’ – read more about the story and the apology from Adam Wagner

 

Jon Henley wrote in 2013: “Why is the European court of human rights hated by the UK right?”:

Grayling said last week the ECHR did not “make this country a better place”. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified “small claims court” buried under a mountain of “trivial” claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to “keep our country safe”.

An unnamed source tells the Sun: “Kate and Gerry have full confidence the European Court of Human Rights will find in their favour. It hasn’t altered their determination to carry on searching for their daughter.” Best of luck. The Sun seems to doubt the court’s trustworthiness. The paper says it could be an 8-year wait for the case to be heard. The Express says the cost could be “astronomical”.

An ECHR spokesperson is quoted in the Sun: “The case McCann and Healy v Portugal is still under consideration and there is no fixed time for examining it. There is no date fixed date for any judgement or decision to be delivered.” And so it goes…

  • If you have evidence about the search for the missing child contact the police. Or you could call Amaral – the Sun says he might be planning a sequel. Meanwhile… a child is missing.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Stoke City’s James McClean defies the poppy fascists

The FA are blinking hard at Stoke City’s James McClean. The player used his private Instagram account to call Middlesbrough supporters who abused him for not wearing a remembrance poppy “uneducated cavemen and c***s”.  At the weekend’s match between the clubs, a few Middlesbrough supporters rushed towards the pitch to tell McClean what they thought of him. The BBC says “objects were thrown at the Ireland international”. McClean hurled some invective before being ushered away.

“They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken,” McClean wrote on Instagram. That’s a quote by provisional IRA member Bobby Sands (9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981), who died on hunger strike while imprisoned at HM Prison Maze .

Irish nationalists view the red poppy as a symbol of British rule. McClean, raised on the nationalist Creggan estate in Derry, has talked about his decision before, notably when he was playing at Wigan Athletic: “For people from the north of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different. For me to wear a poppy would be as much a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles – and Bloody Sunday especially.”

Now he continues:

“Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst… to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous… to the section of uneducated cavemen in left-hand corner of the boothen end stand that want to sing their anti irish song each game and call me a fenian this and that… i am a PROUD FENIAN no c@#t will ever change that, so sing away.”

Fair enough, no? McClean doesn’t have to wear a poppy on his shirt. Just as Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic doesn’t have to wear one on his. The Serb poppy removed the poppy from his shirt before Manchester United’s 2-1 win away to Bournemouth. United called it a “personal decision”, which it is.

TV newsreader Jon Snow called the drive for conformity ‘poppy fascism‘ – “…there is a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism out there – ‘he damned well must wear a poppy!’. Well I do, in my private life, but I am not going to wear it or any other symbol on air.”

In 2016, But, FIFA, football’s world governing body, said England and Scotland players must not wear poppies at their World Cup qualifier. The poppy is a political symbol, said FIFA, so it was banned.

It’s all a public fuss over what should be a private matter. But like so much about what is a fun leisure activity, football is politicised. Whether it’s standing for a minute’s silence or the national anthem, professing a dislike of racism, and players being dragged before the proles as ‘role models’, football has become a tool for public health issues, moralising and compliance.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Super Mario Segale is dead – long live Super Mario

Mario Segale in 1952

‘Super’ Mario Segale in 1952

 

There aren’t that many of us who don’t know who Mario is. You know, the plumber in the video games for those whose memories are fading? Yes, that’s the one, on the Nintendo. The thing is, he’s now dead.

Well, no, not the character, but the character the electronic one is named after. Hey, we’ll all take whatever immortality and fame is on offer, right?

So, the background is that Nintendo was trying to break into the US market and they had an office in Seattle. Their character already existed but he was called “Jumpman.” Obviously, if they were renting an office then they were renting it from someone, and when they needed a better name for the character then why not the name of the guy they were renting from, the one who always gave them such a hard time about being late with the rent?

The story goes that in the early 1980s, Nintendo was setting up their U.S. headquarters just outside of Seattle. The owner of the office they rented was Mario Segale, whose name they used as the main character for their signature series. He made quite the impression on them when he came in demanding overdue rent payment, and the rest is history.

Up to that point, Nintendo’s character had been known as “Jumpman,” so we have to say “Mario” was quite the improvement.

Well, quite so, why the hell not?

As told by his family in the obituary, Segale was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers. He started his own construction business soon after graduating from high school in 1952, and later began focusing on real estate and property development, establishing the Segale Business Park in the 1970s.

It was then that Segale leased warehouse space to the still young U.S. wing of Nintendo. He reportedly made such an impression on the video game company that the company decided to use his name for its hero, NPR reported.

Quite the joy of this is that Mario Segale did indeed do construction and did pretty much everything in construction, from digging through to owning the business park at times. Except, except, the one thing he never did do was plumbing…

 

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


The war for an independent Barcelona (1976)

grises barcelona

 

February 1 1976: three months after the death of dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco (4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975), the Assembly of Catalonia (Asemblea de Catalunya) marched in Barcelona under the banner ‘Libertat, Amnesty, Estatut d’Autonomia’ (Freedom, Amnesty, Autonomy).

 

Barcelona indepedence

 

Local residents’ associations, Trade Unions, political parties (many illegal), along with members of cultural and artistic entities participated. Initially it was peaceful. There was a sit-in on the Passeig de Sant Joan, at the corner of Carrer de Provença. But the Civil Guard and riot police police-threw smoke bombs at the seated protesters and charged them. Later, numerous groups marched through the streets of the Eixample to reach the Modelo prison, where they sought the release of political prisoners.

The Civil Guard waited. They were armed with rifles. Manel Armengol had a camera.

 

PG. DE SANT JOAN/PROVENÇA; CAMI DE LA PRESO MODEL, A LA MODEL C.ENTENÇA

 

See many more on flashbak.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


CCTV saves bouncer: Kierah Lagrave did not strike a blow for feminism

kierah-lagrave

A (la)grave error

 

Who says chivalry is dead? Surely not 22-year-old Kierah Lagrave, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., who is accused of choking a nightclub bouncer into unconsciousness. Lagrave thought he’d slapped her backside. He hadn’t. Her friend had – the friend who when the attack was taking place appeared to do nothing to stop it.

The odd bit is in the reporting by NBC News: “Newly released video shows a 5-foot-1 New York woman choking a much taller nightclub bouncer unconscious…” That makes it sound like Lagrave is some kind of hero. She isn’t. The bouncer says he didn’t defend himself because at the Five1Eight Nightclub because he “thought it was a friend playing a joke on him”.

Others also present the story as a blow for womenkind: “Woman Knocks Out Bouncer After She Thought He Groped Her,” says iHeart.com. How about “Woman Accused of Attacking Innocent Man”? The Independent makes her a “5-ft woman”, reducing her height for extra power. The bounce’s height is not given.

Lagrave has been arrested and charged with strangling. The bouncer can be thankful for CCTV. As the NY Post notes:

LaGrave, of Plattsburgh, later admitted to police that she choked the bouncer, telling investigators she did so because he had grabbed her. Surveillance footage, however, proved otherwise.

 

Posted: 4th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


David Cameron and Hilary Clinton reprise The Aristocrats – a joke in many parts

Memoirs written, shed built, David Cameron is now so “bored shitless” there’s nothing left to do but to return to his old job. The Sun quotes a mate of Dave’s telling us that the former prime minister who quit when his campaign for Britain to remain in the EU failed thinks the role of foreign secretary will fill his days. Good job Dave has private means because one former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, told friends his minister’s salary of £141,405 a year was not enough to live on. He now muddles along on less, having selflessly resigned his post. If Johnson does become leader let’s hope his fellow toff Cameron isn’t insulted by the derisory sums on offer.

Over the water, another upper-class politico, Hillary Clinton, was asked about her return to the fore. “Well, I’d like to be president,” she told the Recode podcast. Many would. But why you, Hillary? “I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there’s going to be so much work to be done… The work would be work that I feel very well prepared for, having been at the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department, and it’s just going to be a lot of heavy lifting.” With the CV filed, Tom Slater reminds us, “She is still, believe it or not, less popular than Donald Trump“. If she stands, they’ll be no Democrat in the Oval office in 2021.

Another Clinton. Cameron redux. They never leave. Incidentally, Tom’s post is entitled ‘The New Aristocrats”, which made me think of this. It’s NSFW.

 

Posted: 4th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Turkmenistan’s president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov lifts golden weights before his applauding Cabinet

What Donald Trump will make it has yet to be revealed, but for now all we have is Turkmenistan’s president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov lifting golden weights bar before his applauding Cabinet. Mr Berdy is also the country’s prime minister and commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces. And sine you asked, male homosexuality is illegal:

 

 

According to Human Rights Watch:

Turkmenistan remains an extremely repressive country. The government severely restricts all fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedoms of association, expression, and religion. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, his relatives and their associates control all aspects of public life, and the authorities encroach on private life. The government carries out forced evictions without adequately compensating those affected. The government continues to conceal the fate and whereabouts of dozens of people forcibly disappeared following their imprisonment during waves of arrests in the late 1990s and early 2000s, although it has begun to return to families the bodies of several inmates forcibly disappeared years ago who have recently died in custody. Activists and independent correspondents critical of the government face increased intimidation, harassment, physical attacks and imprisonment. The country remains closed to any independent scrutiny.

 

Posted: 3rd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Jesus Christ drives an Uber: driver’s message goes viral

Uber Christ I have arrived

 

Uber driver Chris has a message: “I have arrived.” On Twitter, Daniel Powell shared the incredible news that Christ is “arriving soon in a Hyundai Elantra”.

Praise be!

 

How did the trip go?

 

Uber Christ I have arrived

 

Was it really him?
 


 

Amen.

Posted: 3rd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Predictive Policing perpetuates racism and makes us all suspects

Predpol is, according to it website, “the market leader in predictive policing”. Predpol collects data and uses it to show police where future offences will take place. Crime is contagious, the thinking goes – the same offenders target the same people in the same area. Pump in the bald facts for ostensibly objective analysis and an efficient police service. “PredPol is currently being used to help protect one out of every 33 people in the United States,” says the company. Really? The facts are unclear. But predictive policing is here in the UK.

Predictive police has many fans. Jeff Brantingham, an anthropology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who helped to develop the Predpol algorithm, says: “If you are victimized today the risk that you’ll be a victim again goes way up.” Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a law teacher at the University of the District of Columbia, warns that “under current Fourth Amendment doctrine predictive policing will have a significant effect on reasonable suspicion analysis”. Lindsey Barrett agrees: “These algorithms have the potential to increase accuracy and efficiency, but they also threaten to dilute the reasonable suspicion standard and increase unintentional discrimination in a way that existing law is ill-equipped to prevent.” It’s not the coppers who are racist; it’s the robot.

If past data is the barometer of future crime, how trusty is that data? For instance, if police spend more time in, say, black neighbourhoods nicking people for weed possession will they just repeat past patterns and mistakes? Can Predpol tell us where most white collar crime takes place and prevent it?

…civil liberties groups and racial justice organizations are wary. They argue that predictive policing perpetuates racial prejudice in a dangerous new way, by shrouding it in the legitimacy accorded by science. Crime prediction models rely on flawed statistics that reflect the inherent bias in the criminal justice system, they contend—the same type of bias that makes black men more likely to get shot dead by the police than white men. Privacy is another key concern. In Chicago, Illinois, one scientist has helped the police department generate a list of individuals deemed likely to perpetrate or be victims of violent crime in the near future; those people are then told they’re considered at risk, even if they have done nothing wrong.

Corey Doctorow took a look:

An anonymous security researcher recently contacted me with what may be a list of Predpol’s customers. This researcher had seen that Predpol assigns easy-to-guess subdomains to each Predpol customer, in the form of CITYNAME.predpol.com, for example, baltimore.predpol.com.

This researcher wrote a script that combined the name of every US city and town with “.predpol.com” and checked to see whether this domain existed. The full list of cities that had Predpol domains is both short and confusing:

longbeach.predpol.com
indianapolis.predpol.com
hollywood.predpol.com
albany.predpol.com
southjordan.predpol.com
berkeley.predpol.com
frederick.predpol.com
baltimore.predpol.com
pleasanton.predpol.com
modesto.predpol.com
tacoma.predpol.com
elmonte.predpol.com
elgin.predpol.com
livermore.predpol.com
reading.predpol.com
merced.predpol.com
haverhill.predpol.com

Predpol itself was tight-lipped in the extreme: they initially ignored all press requests, then sent a terse “neither confirm nor deny” response to my questions about this list. They wouldn’t even confirm whether the login forms at these domains were secure, despite repeated warnings from me that I would be making them public, requesting that they ensure that these forms require strong logins and passwords to avoid exposing sensitive policing data.

Robocop’s watching you. What can go wrong?

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Aaron Ramsey to Manchester United as Liverpool rule out move and Arsenal progress

Aaron Ramsey says he’s no idea why Arsenal withdrew their contract offer. For months and months the club’s offer of £170,000-a-week for four years reportedly sat on the table. Ramsey never signed. Why not? We can only suppose he wanted more money, as much as £250,000-a-week to deliver one Premier League goal a season, as he did last season, and spend a large chunk of time sat in the treatment room. As Ramsey dithered and his Mr 15% thought they held all the cards, Arsenal moved on. First Arsene Wenger was sacked, then Ivan Gazidis, the ineffectual chief executive, went to work for AC Milan, a once great club now operated by a US hedge fund. The new Arsenal hierarchy looked at Ramsey, considered his value and thought him not worth the money.

Gazidis’ successor Raul Sanllehi can only be an improvement. “I don’t think I am inventing the wheel,” he told the Sunday Telegraph of the club’s new decision not to let key players enter the final year of a contract. “Anybody could agree on that.”

There’s a lot of chatter about where Ramsey might go next. The Star says Chelsea don’t want him because Ross Barkley, 24, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22, are playing well. Sky says Liverpool have ruled out making a move for Ramsey. The Welshman could join Manchester United in January with Juan Mata moving the other way, says the Sun. Why United would want a slowing midfielder is moot.

The Telegraph says Arsenal “have embarrassed themselves again” by letting a £50m player leave for free. To which the question must be: which club was ever going to pay £50m for Ramsey, plus around £200,000-a-week in wages? And why is it embarrassing to get rid of players who rate themselves too highly and bring on hungry, fresh talent, as Arsenal have, notably in the shape of Emile Smith Rowe, Matteo Guendouzi and a vastly improved Alex Iwobi?

Arsenal called Ramsey’s bluff. Everton beckons him. He’ll leave behind an Arsenal side possessed of a new sense of direction.

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Accountant who pretended house was his gets to keep it

Bill Gertos squatter australia

 

To Sydney, Australia, where Bill Gertos is the owner of a new home in Sydney, Australia. Twenty years ago, Mr Gertos was working as a tax accountant. (Just as all lawyers should be called Sue, all accountants must be called Bill.)  He spotted a tired looking house. No-one was living there. He discovered that the last resident had died. They’d been renting the home since the 1940s. Mr Gertos moved in. He changed the locks. And he rented it out. The actual owners – descendants of the previous owner, who died in 1947 – took Mr Gertos to court. And lost. He got to keep the house.

The BBC:

In New South Wales, squatters can be awarded ownership if they have occupied a property for more than 12 years.

The court granted Mr Gertos those rights because he had repaired and maintained the property since 1998.

Australian media outlets described the case as “bizarre” because the relevant law is typically used by those who move into a property themselves.

Wonder if the current lodgers begrudge paying Mr Gertos any rent – and how many landlords are looking at their accountants with renewed interest..?

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Momentum uses Hillsborough to promote Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister

Jeremy Corbyn fans at Momentum want you to follow @PeoplesMomentum. “Let’s get a Socialist government to No.10! 💓 Join Momentum today! 👇,” runs their tweet.  And there’s a video. Things are interesting about 36 seconds in when the campaign uses the Hillsborough tragedy to promote Jez:

 

 

See that bloke chucking copies of the Sun newspaper into a bin bag? He didn’t do it because he wants Corbyn to be prime minster. He didn’t even do it to stick it to the right-wing media. The footage is of Everton fan Brian Kelly binning free copies of the Sun at Glasgow Airport as part of the boycott triggered by the paper’s appalling reporting on the horror of Hillsborough. The Sun apologised, albeit years later.

Mr Kelly told the Liverpool Echo: “A friend of mine, Tommy Fletcher, who’s a Liverpool fan, said put the lot in the bin and I gladly obliged. The rivalry obviously doesn’t come into it when this is involved… Loads of places now are gladly refusing to sell the paper. Football fans, true football fans, should agree to do the same.”

 

 

That Momentum thought using the Hillsborough horror to promote Corbyn was a good idea brings their judgement into question. The survivors, friends, relatives and loved ones of the 96 who died in 1989 still await justice. Hijacking their suffering is opportunistic and demeaning. Corbyn a pal of the working class who were defamed and monstered by a lying media and police a Hillsborough ? Don’t make me laugh. Back then football fans were “scum”, a white riot-in-waiting; today Corbyn portrays the tabloid reading masses as mentally negligible bigots who voted for Brexit and Tories because they were stupid enough to believe lies. Wary of these fools getting the wrong kind of information, Corbyn wants to nationalise the news.

Nothing’s changed.

Back then right and left were united in a war on football fans. Football was “a slum sport watched by slum people in slum stadiums(Sunday Times); a game produced by “yobs and slum cultures of the stricken inner cities” (New Statesman); a game for the “udserclass” (Sunday Times). They still seek to regulate and control behaviour by restricting our view.

Note: What does footage of a man chucking copies of tabloid newspapers into bins say about Corbyn’s attitude to press freedom? It’s chilling. Don’t vote for censorship.

 

Posted: 1st, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United flop becomes the new Neymar PSG

As newspapers tank, red-top tabloids try to translate splashy sensation from paper to the web. The Sun thunders:
“Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez wanted by PSG in shock transfer, amid continuing Old Trafford struggles.” Sanchez wants out of his absurd £600,000-a-week contract? And PSG in their wisdom think Sanchez is worth the effort?! The story is full of zero facts:

PSG would be willing to take Sanchez off their hands as long as they can land him on the cheap or even on a possible free transfer. It is understood the idea of getting him off their books has been talked about by the United hierarchy.

A “source” from somewhere inside or at least stood pretty close by Manchester United say it all “could” happen. The source is unnamed. But they are chatty:

“It’s no secret he has struggled and not lived up to the expectations. He isn’t getting any younger and it might never work for him. There was interest before the club signed him but he preferred staying in England at the time. That may have changed now. One of their [PSG’s] top stars could go and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a deal could be struck between the two clubs.”

Nonsense, then. But this is the desperate web and from that “exclusive”, we get the Daily Mirror thundering: “Alexis Sanchez transfer: Why PSG think they can sign Manchester United star on FREE.” Why? Dunno. But the guess is that he costs a lot of money in wages and is not all that good. And on it goes:

 

transfer balls sanchez manchester united

Sanchez- from ageing flop to the new Neymar!

 

 

Daily Express: “PSG want to sign Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United on one condition.”

Daily Star: “Man Utd news: PSG eye Alexis Sanchez on free transfer.”

talkSport: “Manchester United transfer news: Paris Saint-Germain plot shock move.”

Manchester Evening News: “Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez ‘eyed’ for Paris Saint Transfer.”

All utter tosh.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 31st, October 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Martin Scorsese’s Best 11 Horror Films

Hymned director Martin Scorsese has produced a list of his eleven most terrifying horror movies. There’s nothing after 1983. This might be more down to his age than any decline in the standard of horror. Scorsese was born in late 1942. Maybe when he reached his 40s, he stopped being frightened?

It’s also notable that noticeable that many of the directors whose work impressed him are no longer alive. Robert Wise died in 2005; Vale Lewton (1951); Lewis Allen (2000); Frank de Felitta (2016); Alberto Cavalcanti (1982);  Charles Crichton (1999); Basil Dearden (1971); Robert Hamer (1963); Stanley Kubrick (1999); Jacques Turner (1977); Jack Clayton (1995); and Alfred Hitchcock (1980). Perhaps there’s a bit of professional rivalry? Anyhow, the list if great:

The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
Isle of the Dead (Val Lewton, 1945)
The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944)
The Entity (Frank de Felitta, 1983)
Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer, 1945)
The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1980)
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Spotter:  The Daily Beast (2015).

Posted: 31st, October 2018 | In: Film, Key Posts | Comment


After Pittsburgh the righteous and fair blame the Jews

After the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, hollow minds scout around for someone to blame. You can blame the web, rabid anti-Semitism now rife in British politics – we’re told never to forget, but it never went away – the prime suspect’s hatred of Jews, Israel (how the righteous and not-in-the-least-bit racist love to apportion collective blame on all Jews for events in a foreign country) and the Chief Rabbi. So here are Jenny Tongue, a member of the House of Lords, and Katie Hopkins, a member of the twitter doghouse, doing there bit for peace and harmony:

 

 

 

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


‘Disgusting’ and ‘greedy’: what they said about Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Praise for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Leicester City chairman killed in a helicopter crash. Jamie Vardy, the club’s striker, calls Srivaddhanaprabha the club’s “soul”. “He was a billionaire – a very wealthy and successful man,” said BBC Leicester’s Ian Stringer. “But also so humble and lovely.”

But when he oversaw the “ruthless” (talkSport) dismissal of Claudio Ranieri, the manager who led Leicester to the Premier League title, bouquets lobbed at the great man had thorns to the fore. Picking up on the “wave of shock, outrage and disgust” (BBC) was Gary Lineker, a former Leicester City and England striker now hosting BBC TV’s Match of The Day. He tweeted:

“After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.”

Daily Mirror columnist and former Leicester player Stan Collymore called it “disgusting”. Beneath the headline “Claudio Ranieri’s sacking was absolutely disgusting – it was modern football in a nutshell”, he opined:

…when Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha did wield the axe on Thursday it was such a joke.

Although, sadly, the act was ­symptomatic of the greedy and ill-thought-out nature of the game. It was modern football in a nutshell…

The fact that Ranieri has been sacked is disgusting, absolutely ­disgusting.

And Ranieri wrote:

“Yesterday my dream died. After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League champions all I dreamed of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be. I wish to thank my wife Rosanna and all my family for their never ending support during my time at Leicester.”

Jurgen Klopp provided context:

“It is not only football. For me there have been a few strange decisions in 16/17: Brexit, Trump, Ranieri.”

The Guardian:

This is the part of the story that shines a light on football’s deceit and two-facedness almost as much as the fact that barely a fortnight earlier, only two days before deciding they had to cut him free, the people in charge at Leicester promised Ranieri their “unwavering support”. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the club’s chairman, and his son, Aiyawatt, clearly find it easier to employ others to carry out their dirty work. Yet, after everything that has gone before, was it really too much to think they might have afforded Ranieri the common decency of a first-hand explanation?

Jose Mourinho added:

“I thought last season, when I was sacked as a champion, it was a giant, negative thing. Now I recognise it’s peanuts compared to Claudio.”

Forbes looks at the money:

In his book The Billionaires Club, James Montague says Leicester’s shock title win in 2016 also helped shield owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha from some of the turbulence of Thai domestic politics. Owning a team in the Championship doesn’t have quite the same effect.

As for now, well, Lineker noted:

“A quiet, unassuming man who will always be remembered with great fondness and respect. He also helped to bring the most magical, miraculous title win in the history of football. Thank you, Chairman for all you did for our football club. #RIP”

It was incredible.

 

 

 

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


After Pittsburgh the internet bans Gab

gab paypal medium pittsburgh

 

In response to the massacre of 11 Jews and police officers at the Pittsburgh synagogue, PayPal will no longer be processing payment to Gab. It’s a social network a bit like Twitter. The main suspect in the synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, operated a Gab account where he displayed the neo-Nazi code-phrase 1488. He told other Gab users that refugees being helped by a Jewish organization were “invaders”, and that he was “going in”. Gab has been called a “hate-filled echo chamber of racism and conspiracy theories” (The Guardian), and a “safe haven for banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists” (Mic).

PayPal told Gizmodo: “PayPal has canceled the Gab.Ai account. The company is diligent in performing reviews and taking account actions. When a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance, we take immediate and decisive action.”

So long, Gab? The outfit made a statement on Medium:

Gab.com’s policy on terrorism and violence have always been very clear: we have zero tolerance for it. Gab unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence. This has always been our policy. We are saddened and disgusted by the news of violence in Pittsburgh and are keeping the families and friends of all victims in our thoughts and prayers.

Gab’s lament is no longer on Medium. Gab is no longer available – the site tweeted a message saying it web hosting provider, Joyent, has told it to get thee hence. “We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers and several payment processors,” says Gab. Private companies can take money from who they like. That’s free speech.

Gab continued:

“Gab’s mission is very simple: to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people. Social media often brings out the best and the worst of humanity. Free speech is crucial for the prevention of violence. If people cannot express themselves through words, they will do so through violence.”

People remain free to talk. Radicals will lampoon ideals and gods. Nothing will be beyond criticism, open debate or public ridicule. Gab just needs to find a partner willing to host it. In the meanwhile, the internet, an online version of life you can turn off and on, will continue…

Image: Gab’s now retired logo.

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Arsenal vow never to let player contracts run down to final year

Arsenal’s ‘head of football’ – what a great title that is; as if Arsenal’s purpose his anything but football – Raul Sanllehi promises everyone that the club will no longer allow the contracts of key players to enter the final year. Right now Aaron Ramsey is nearing the end of their current deals, so too Danny Welbeck.

In recent seasons, Arsenal have allowed the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to enter the final six months of their contracts. This foolish negotiating tactic overseen by the not-in-the-least-bit-lamanted chief executive Ivan Gazidis, now at AC Milan, resulted in Ozil getting a whopping £350,000-a-week on a new deal and Sanchez heading to Manchester United last January. Jack Wilshere’s contract expired. He ended up getting a free transfer to West Ham.

“In general, I do believe that a player’s contract should never go to the last year, as a policy,” Sanllehi told the Sunday Telegraph. “But I don’t think I am inventing the wheel. Anybody could agree on that.” It appears that Gazidis did not agree. “Normally, the contracts of the players are for five years. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to do with that player when he is in the third year, at the latest.”

“We don’t take decisions overnight, on a quick reflection. We really go through not only a long period of thinking but also a lot of people are involved. People in which we have a high trust. In general I would like to make that point clear. There are no decisions that are left to the last minute. When we reach a decision, it is for a reason.”

To further illustrate how slack things got at Arsenal under Gazidis and Arsene Wenger, Per Mertesacker and Huss Fahmy, have been promoted to the club’s “executive team” as the club look to increase the “football representation” at decision-making levels. It’s the school of the bleeding’ obvious. Ignore the actual football, focus too much on marking and branding, and watch the club turn into, well the current Manchester United mess.

But it’s not all about the footy. Mertesacker, Fahey,  Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat are the only “footballing representatives” on the 15-man executive team, which “encompasses everything that we do as an organisation”. Eleven people do what exactly? As Sonny put it so succinctly on the night of the big dance-off in the hit movie Grease, ‘Let’s hear it for the toilet paper.”

Posted: 28th, October 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


After Pittsburgh Jews advised to build militarised homeland to deter attacks

 

President Donald Trump says mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue would have been “better” if the Jews had been armed.  “They had a maniac walk in and they didnt have any protection and that is just so sad to see,” said Trump. “The results could have been much better.” One day when Jews return to their homeland after millennia of persecution they can invest heavily in the military. Then no-one will be attack them. They will be treated with respect and murderous anti-Semitism will end.

As for now, we’re told that Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue during Shabbat service and shouted “All Jews must die” before shooting dead 11 people sand wounding many more.

“This has little to do with it,” said Trump when asked what role US gun laws played in the massacre. “If they had protection inside the results would have been far better. This is a dispute that will always exist I suspect. But if they had some kind of protection inside the temple, maybe it could have been a much different situation. But they didn’t and he was able to do things that unfortunately he shouldn’t have been able to do.”

It’s all too much like when an adviser to Poland’s president said Israel was ashamed “at the passivity of the Jews during the Holocaust.”

Jews have sometimes been described, often for the purpose of assigning blame or inflicting humiliation, as having acted passively in the face of the Holocaust. Key acts of resistance contradict the trope, most notably the Warsaw Uprising of 1943. Smaller revolts took place in death camps, including Sobibor and Treblinka, where starving prisoners without weapons faced heavily armed German guards.

Image: Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944), Camp Synagogue, Saint Cyprien, 1941. (Via)

Posted: 28th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment