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‘Pregnant Women’ are taboo and gender fluid children commonplace as the trans movement thunders on

Transgender news features on the cover of the country’s two biggest-selling red-tops. The Sun has news of “fury” at “Government drivel”, which advises calling pregnant women mums in favour of “pregnant people”. Absurd? Of course it is. But is it true? Can it be that a triumph of liberty – the right to be what gender you choose and shag whatever consenting adult you like – has distorted into a tyranny?

 

mum women the sun trans

 

The Government department being ridiculed is the Foreign Office, where civil servants have added their advice to a draft UN human rights paper, warning “the term ‘pregnant women’ could ‘exclude transgender people who have given birth’. Instead, it should be replaced with the term ‘pregnant people’, they suggested.” The Sun musters furious voices to say it’s “nonsense” (Labour MP Jess Philipps) and “drivel” (Tory MP Philip Davies). But it only gives readers a sliver of information about the proposal. It’s not until the 15th paragraph that readers are told:

The intervention came in Britain’s official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The FCO said: “We requested that the UN human rights committee made it clear that the same right extends to pregnant transgender people”.

That sounds fair, no?

The Times quotes Sarah Ditum, who might not have got that memo:

“This isn’t inclusion. This is making women unmentionable. Having a female body and knowing what that means for reproduction doesn’t make you ‘exclusionary’. Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult.”

But isn’t this just an addendum to the inclusive speech that has men saying “We are pregnant” and attending NCT classes? But, in any case, it’s not true.

In other news, the Mirror leads with the story that “50 kids a week are being sent to sex change clinics”. Is that progress?

sex clinics trans daily mirror

The lead image sets the tone that all might not be well in childhood.

 

sex change daily mirror

 

What about thses figures?

The number of children visiting ­Britain’s specialist clinic the Gender Identity Development Service, hosted by the Tavistock and Portman NHS ­Foundation Trust in London, has risen by 24% to 1,302 in the past six months.

Among them were two children aged four, four five-year-olds and 17 kids of six. In 2016/17 there were 2,016 children referred to the clinic. This is on track to rise in 2017/18 to 2,600. In 2009 there were 97.

Isn’t the key part of that fact the NHS’s involvement, the State’s overseeing role in individual sexual identity and personal liberation? The country has undergone a revolution in sexual liberty. But the movement for equality didn’t end with the decriminalisation of gay sex and the arrival of same-sex marriage; it simply moves on, seeking new things to overhaul. So now the focus is on children, and how they can be altered.

As Brendan O’Neill notes: “The government wants to scrap the current requirement of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before you can switch gender and allow for ‘self-identification’. So any bloke could self-identify as a woman, apply for the legal right to be recognised as a woman, and – boom – he’s a woman.” Moreover, you can go back and change your birth certificate, altering it from ‘It’s a boy!” to “It’s a girl!”.

And what began as a glorious pursuit of freedom morphs into something weird, non-sensical and the opposite of truth.

 

Posted: 23rd, October 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn on Clive Lewis: context is no excuse in Britain but anything goes in Iran

Jeremy Corbyn tells the BBC about Clive Lewis, the Labour MP recorded telling a man, “On your knees, bitch“:

“Completely wrong, he should never have said it, completely unacceptable comments. He has apologised, I’ve been in touch with him, he’s been in touch with me to apologise personally to me and it’s a message to everybody that this kind of language is not acceptable in any circumstances, any time.”

Here’s the man who used to work for the Iranian government’s Press TV talking about causing offence. (Corbyn earned £20,000 from Iran’s propaganda broadcaster.

In 2011, Britain’s Ofcom media watchdog fined the company £100,000 for airing an interview with jailed Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, saying the interview had been held under duress and after torture while Bahari — now a British resident — was in prison following his coverage of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.)

That’s Iran where they execute you for being gay, deny the Holocaust, persecute Kurds and treat women as second-class citizens:

 

 

It’s all about standards, eh, Jezza. And nothing biased in any of it, of course. This is the same Lewis who said of Corbyn’s old paymasters in Iran: “There are far too many in politics today who wish to criticise only countries that fit into a black and white binary world view.”

Clive Lewis told the Commons on October 11, 2017:

“It was quite shocking to listen to the seemingly inexhaustible list of human rights abuses by Iranian authorities. It was quite numbing to hear them all. I think it is right that we focus on human rights, as that issue has been a central thrust of my very short parliamentary career since being elected two years ago, but I would also like to focus on the fate of journalists, both those working inside Iran and those working remotely from the UK. I declare an interest as a former BBC journalist and the chair of the National Union of Journalists parliamentary committee. I do that for the record to state my solidarity with journalists both in Iran and around the world, who strive to do nothing more than ask questions in an attempt to hold power to account.

“As we know, Iran has elections that many other inhabitants of the middle east can only envy. Here I state a truism, but it is essential that we set it down, that elections are only ever one element of a functioning democracy. A democracy where bloggers and reporters must risk their lives and the well-being of their families in order to comment on the political life of their country cannot be seen as a democracy in the true sense. Democracy is not worth the ballot paper it is printed on without freedom of the press. There is a barrier to informing the electorate, as the press provides feedback to the legislature. The often brutal suppression of those speakers also creates a chilling fear that acts as a cancer on all of those forming opinions and the ability to take action in the public arena.

“As my hon. Friend the Member for Torfaen (Nick Thomas-Symonds) mentioned a constituent of his who has been in prison, I would like to mention three journalists who are being held and are on hunger strike. Soheil Arabi has been in prison since 2013 and has been on hunger strike for over a month. Mehdi Khazali was arrested in August and has been on hunger strike since the day of his arrest. Ehsan Mazandarani was arrested in 2015 and has been denied early release despite very poor health. There are many more prisoners I could mention. Their stories make for chilling reading.

“The long arm of control reaches way beyond Iran and stretches as far as those working in our very own BBC, as the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute (Brendan O’Hara) mentioned. Charges have been filed against almost all the Iranian journalists working for the BBC’s Persian-language service in London; 152 journalists have been charged with conspiracy against Iran’s national security and have faced constant harassment and intimidation and an effective freeze on all their Iran-based assets. Those charged cannot defend themselves unless they return to Iran, which they feel unable to do for fear of reprisal. I beg the Minister to raise these names whenever he meets his Iranian counterparts and to push the issues of journalism, freedom of the press and democracy very clearly, as I know he will.

“To end with a general comment, there are far too many in politics today who wish to criticise only the countries that fit into a very black and white binary world view. I am not one of them. I believe it is entirely possible—nay, essential—to criticise and hold to account Iran just as much as Saudi Arabia for human rights abuses and attacks on civil liberties. The two are not mutually incompatible. The same applies to the US and Russia and the questionable choices those Governments continue to make domestically and internationally. In fact, our hand is strengthened and our criticism is more valid when we show neither fear nor favour to any country or regime, wherever they may be, whether they be friend or ally, when defending human rights and civil liberties.”

Anyone see Corbyn’s ears burning?

Posted: 21st, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Organic farming wastes resources and what about the animals?

We should all care where meat comes from. Poor animal welfare shames us all. Writing in the Guardian, George Monbiot has an idea:

One study in Britain suggests that, if we stopped using animal products, everyone in Britain could be fed on just 3m of our 18.5m hectares of current farmland (or on 7m hectares if all our farming were organic).

Organic is wasteful, then, right? And if we stop using animal product, where does the fertiliser for organic come from?

The study Monbiot cites is in the Land Magazine. You can read it there, and then know that according to the Soil Association, “Organic means…no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers.”

Poo it is, then. We need farm animals. But we can all agree they must be well treated. Anything less is a curse on our age.

 

Posted: 21st, October 2017 | In: News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The immersive supper club in an authentic Hackney pub costs £55

supper club cockney

 

“Just got a PR email about a Cockney themed immersive supper club in an “authentic Hackney pub”, tweets Tom Armstrong. “It’s £55. This is one of the press shots.”

The pub is Homerton’s The North Star.

And I’m outraged, too, as what the knowing and outraged call ‘Poor Face’. Who smokes fags when you can have a spliff?

As for the event:

The Cockney’tivity is a Christmas dining experience like no other featuring three short acts of hilarious festive drama around three courses of delicious food all based in an authentic east end boozer. Walk through the doors of The North Star, take a seat at the Christmas dinner table and watch as the drama unfolds around you. Culminating in a raucous finale that will have you dancing on your chairs with your hands in the air.

It’s what Jesus would have wanted.

Spotter: @TomDisco

Posted: 20th, October 2017 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Labour MP Clive Lewis: ‘Get on your knees bitch’ (and try to find the shattered remains of my career)

“Get on your knees, bitch,” says Norwich South’s Labour MP Clive Lewis at a do hosted by Momentum. Labour’s Harriet Harman heard that line and tweeted: “Inexplicable. Inexcusable. Dismayed.” The Labour Party says Lewis’s language “was completely unacceptable and falls far short of the standard we expect”.

 

clive lewis bitch

The Right Honourable Clive Lewis

 

It is? Surely it depends who he was saying it to and in what context it was being said? Left-wing pundit Aaron Bastani tweeted: “I was there. The video has been up at @novaramedia for a month – Clive was saying this to a man.”

Does that make it better?

Mr Lewis later tweeted: “I apologise unreservedly for the language I used at an event in Brighton last month. It was offensive and unacceptable.”

 

 

The Sun says Clive Lewis remark to a man “was met with nervous laughter” in the room and “fury” beyond. Hosts “jokily” told the MP: “Please may I remind you that this is meant to be a safe space, thank you.”

Outrage ensues:

Sam Swann, a 28-year-old actor, to whom Lewis addressed his command, says: “He says to me ‘on your knees bitch’ and it is clearly jovial. The whole event was so brilliant for seeing MPs letting their hair down and fucking around with people who support them. I think Clive Lewis is an absolute legend.”

Lewis is, of course, toast – another victim of what happens when you try to police speech and seek offence in dust ion your attempt to turn the world into a safe space. Yeah – he’s been hoisted by Labour’s petard.

Posted: 20th, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Everton balls: Oh, come on, we loved Williams chucking his dummy

Argy-bargy at Everton, where the Toffees lost 1-2 to Lyon in the Europa League. The lowlight features the unforgettable sight of an Everton fan in the Gwladys Street end “trying to shove Anthony Lopes, the Lyons goalkeeper, with his right hand” (Times). The idiot compounded his behaviour by cradling a toddler sucking a dummy at the time. There’s thick and there’s wading into a fight against professional athletes whilst holding a child levels of thick.

We’ll get to know this dangerously thick man is. As the Times notes, “The shame game has begun.”

But before that, what happened? As ever the Press seem incapable agreeing on the most bald fact.

 

Everton fight fan toddler

 

Everton fan carrying a CHILD slaps Lyon goalkeeper on his head – Daily Mail

Merseyside Police investigating Everton-Lyon brawl which saw man throw punche while holiding a kid [sic] – the Sun

An Everton fan who appeared to slap a Lyon player while holding a child during last night’s Europa League game has been banned by the club while police investigate the incident. – Daily Mirror

One fan was seen trying to throw a punch while holding a child. – Daily Express

…a fan carrying a child appeared to aim a punch at Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. – Daily Telegraph

Punch? Slap? Hit or miss?

 

 

Lyons were unimpressed with the Everton showing:

 

 

As for the shame and the horror, the players have spoken:

Everton captain Williams, who was shown a yellow card, told media: “It’s what happens, it’s football. It is what it is. It’s high emotions. We want to win the game, they want to win the game and stuff happens. That was just one of those times.”

He later told Everton FC’s website – where the incident is a described as a “heated exchange – “We want to show fight for ourselves, but more than anything for the Club and the fans especially. We’re disappointed we haven’t got a result tonight because I thought we showed good attitude in how we went about it.”

And Lopes opined: “I don’t think it is part of the English atmosphere to hit an away player. It was no big deal, it happened and that was it. For me it seemed to wake up the fans and they seemed to love it.”

They did. And so did the media. Fans and media love a mass brawl. Chuck in a streaker, a few red cards and the match would have been yet more entertaining – albeit not up there with Zidane’s headbutt or Cantona’s kung-fu kick.

Posted: 20th, October 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Couple sentenced for sex in a Domino’s take-away

Daniella Hirst and Craig Smith were filmed “in a sex act and having sex” at a Domino’s pizza take away in Scarborough, Yorkshire. Cancel the weekend in Paris and dinner at the candle-lit eatery, love, if it’s sex you’re after, neon lights and stuffed crust is all the fuel you need.

At Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Hirst and Smith were each handed 12-month community orders, a curfew for 23 weeks which means they have to remain in their separate homes between 7pm and 7am, with a victim surcharge of £85. Hearing that he’d also have to complete 200 hours unpaid work, Smith asked: “Why do I have to do that extra?” (Accoing to the Burton Mail, Hirst has previous for offences including using threatening words or behaviour and theft. He was out on licence for an offence of wounding when he and Hist romped in the eatery.)

Defence solicitor Scott McLoughlin told the court:

“This footage is on the internet and it will be for ever more, for their children to see. One can only imagine the embarrassment this has caused. This is something that has escaped into the wild.”

Meet the kids: Supreme and Pepperoni.

“When they entered the store, they did not intend to cause any harm to anyone. They were in high spirits. It was completely devoid of customers and no-one initially noticed or saw what was happening. It’s blatant but not as blatant as it could have been. They moved to the right of the store.”

 

Posted: 19th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


#StayBritish – Richard Keys has sage advice for Leicester City

When Leicester City sacked Craig Shakespeare – the Foxes earned the Premier League’s seventh biggest haul of points during his 8 months as manager – former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys took to twitter to opine:

 

 

That’s Richard Keys, the Britisher who lives in Qatar (not in Britain) where he works for Al Jazeera (owned by Qatari royalty) talking about Leicester City, the club owned a Thai billionaire, which won the Premier League title under the guidance of an Italian.

#StayBritish, indeed.

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jamie Oliver’s sugar tax pushes lazy eaters to fruit juices

Jamie Oliver has fiddled with food every since Tony Blair realised the chef was popular on the telly and grabbed him for a conflab. Oliver has been raging against sugar for some time now. But signs are that it’s not working:

Jamie Oliver’s 10p tax on sugary drinks sold in his Italian restaurants has resulted in a significant drop in sales, a study has found.

Oliver gathers up all the 10ps and invests them in “food education and water fountains in schools”. He’s a food colonialist teaching the slack-jawed and sugar-toothed how to drink from a standpipe and worry about food. Sod the toque blanche and get the lad a pith helmet.

Now the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health tells us that sugar-sweetened drinks flogged in Jamie’s Italian-style eateries fell 11% in the first 12 weeks of the levy. At the end of six months, sales were 9.3% lower than before the tax was brought in.

The odd bit is that fruit juice sales were up 22 per cent – you know, those pricey drinks packed full of sugar.

The study, however, does not tell us how Jamie’s faux Italian outlets have fared as a whole over that period. I did have the misfortune to visit Jamie’s Italian at Gatwick Airport just the other week, and can reveal that his cooked breakfast (‘The Full Monty’) was greasy, unsatisfying, badly presented (it came on an oily skillet), mean (3 nasty little mushrooms; two splats of cherry tomatoes; a drool of beans; two undercooked sausages; innersole bacon; charred squares of potato; missing onions; a dry slice of black pudding; and poached eggs that were well cooked but trimmed to the size of tic-tacs) and expensive (£10.25).

Professor Susan Jebb of University of Oxford tells the Times, Jamie’s experiment was “encouraging news for public health ahead of the introduction of the soft drink industry levy”.

Oh, and this:

Jamie Oliver is to close six of his Italian restaurants after tough trading and the “pressures and unknowns” following the Brexit vote.

Oliver intends to close Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Aberdeen, Exeter, Cheltenham, Richmond, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate Hill, near London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, by the end of the first quarter of the year.

Blame Brexit, then. Easy.

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tabloid Watch: what it looks like when the Sun takes on a local newspaper

hull police the sun

When the Hull Daily Mail reported “fantastic photos of Humberside Police officers having fun at Hull Fair”, the story was upbeat:

Whilst working effortlessly to ensure the safety of the tens of thousands of people who visit the annual event, police officers and PCSOs have managed to find a few moments to enjoy some fair favourites.

A copper was quoted:

“Hull Fair is one of those rare opportunities where it is a fantastic to be a police officer because the people are actually pleased to see you.”

When the Sun spotted the story, its readers were told of a “POLICE FARCE”. And, yep, it was an “exclusive:

 

Hull police the sun

 

People noticed:

 

 

 

 

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


Canadian Parliament scuppers moves to permit drunk canoeing

canoe beer canadaCanada has rules governing drinking in “vessels”, including those “propelled exclusively by means of muscular power”. Get caught over the limit in a kayak or on an inflatable raft and you could lose your driving licence.

Now the Canadian Safe Boating Council has countered moves to end this rule, telling Liberal MP Colin Fraser, “it would send the wrong message to the public to exclude drunk canoeing”. You can be drunk in charge of a bicycle. But you must be sober in a canoe.

The Canadian Criminal Code says only motorized road vehicles are covered by impaired driving laws – but all water-going “vessels,” whether they’re motorized or not, are included:

But the definition may soon be tested in court. Earlier this year, Ontario Provincial Police laid charges against David Sillars, a 37-year-old who tipped a canoe on the Muskoka River. An eight-year-old in the canoe was swept over a waterfall and died.

Sillars is charged with impaired operation of a vessel causing death and operating a vessel with a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams causing death, among other counts.

During the committee meeting, Conservative MP Rob Nicholson — a former Conservative justice minister — appeared to cite that case in asking for clarification on what the amendment would do.

In the UK, the law on drunk-boating tells us:

Boaters may be prosecuted under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 if their actions on the water are seen to be endangering other vessels, structures or individuals and they are under the influence of alcohol.

But there is no law covering being smashed in charge of a canoe, or pedlo.

Spotter: National Post

 

Posted: 17th, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lysette Anthony and Harvey Weinstein in Trial By Media

Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of multiple crimes against women, is all over the tabloids.

The Sun leads with the “3 Brit Victims”. Alleged victims, of course, a fact given credence with those inverted commas. Weinstein is deserving of a fair hearing. Innocence must always be presumed.

The pick of the alleged victims seems to be Lysette Anthony, a former model and actress, subject of the Sunday Times’ scoop: “Lysette Anthony: I answered the door. Harvey Weinstein pushed me inside and raped me in my own hallway.” That’s a headline and a half. And because it is a headline, it counts as opinion not fact.

 

harvey weinstein

 

Lysette Anthony’s allegations reach use via Charlotte Metcalf, a “close friend” of the actress. The pair went to a police station, where Anthony made her allegation. It’s serious stuff. Her words are weighty, and she should be afforded respect. The sincere hope is that the matter goes to court. Our opinions matter not.

Metcalf writes:

She was nervous but the officers were sensitive and reassuring. Afterwards I sat down with her and she told me the full story which she has agreed I should now make public.

Are we entertained yet? Stay tuned…

We hear that Lysette and Weinstein first met in New York. “Over the net few years she would have lunch with Harvey from time to time when he was in London. At that point she experienced nothing untoward: ‘The lunches were invariably in hotel suites but I felt comfortable in Harvey’s company. We had become friends.'”

And then she claims he attacked her:

“He pushed me inside and rammed me up against the coat rack in my tiny hall and started fumbling at my gown. He was trying to kiss me and shove inside me. It was disgusting.

She tried pushing him off but he was too heavy. “Finally I just gave up. At least I was able to stop him kissing me. As he ground himself against me and shoved inside me, I kept my eyes shut tight, held my breath, just let him get on with it. He came over my leg like a dog and then left. It was pathetic, revolting. I remember lying in the bath later and crying.”

Anthony says she never told the police not her agent. She claims that around a year later, she met Weinstein again. She took her out for dinner. He was “perfectly charming”. He bought her a coat on the way home. “I thought it was his unspoken way of apologising for what had happened,” says Lysette. “I assumed that was that and we went our separate ways.”

And then…?

“From this point on, if I ignored ­Weinstein’s calls the assistants started ringing and if I ignored them his ­assistants called my agent to set up a meeting. What you have to understand is that no one turned down an opportunity to meet Harvey Weinstein. No one. I’d never told my agent about the rape, so it was impossible to explain why I didn’t want to see him.

“The meetings would start with a chat in a hotel suite. The assistants would disappear and then he’d disappear and return in a robe demanding a massage. By then I’d just given up. I knew I was powerless and at least I wouldn’t have to do much. I was just a body, young flesh. It wouldn’t take long and no one knew.”

And there it is, out there in the court of public opinion, the story of the actress and her alleged rapist.

 

harvey weinstein

 

Weinstein the “sex beast”:

harvey weinstein

This has to reach court. Weinstein must have the right to defend himself. And society has the right to judge the matter. Anything less than law-based justice reduces alleged horrific crimes into a nasty form of entertainment…

Posted: 16th, October 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Going fast: the Anne Frank Halloween costume for girls

Why not alarm your Nazi neighbours this Halloween by dressing up in an Anne Frank costume (for girls)?

 

halloween costume gils anne frank

 

 

The costume has now been pulled from shelves.

Public Relations Specialist at Fun.com, Ross Walker Smith went on Twitter to explain:

“We sell costumes not only for Halloween, but for many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We have passed along the feedback regarding this costume, and it has been removed from the website at this time.”

Just a clerical error, then. Thanks for the feedback. Who knew flogging a murdered child for Halloween was anything by fun?

And it’s positively tasteful compared to this:

 

 

Spotter: JudeHabib

Posted: 16th, October 2017 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hillary Clinton throws Harvey Weinstein under the bus (with all of Bill’s women)

Did you roll your eyes and let you mouth fall agape when Hillary Clinton told Andrew Marr about Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of rape? There’s delusional and there’s Hillary Clinton levels of delusional:

“I was really shocked and appalled because I’ve known him through politics as many Democrats have. He’s been a supporter – he’s been a funder for all of us, for Obama, for me, for people who have run for office in the United States.  So it was just disgusting and the stories that have come out are heartbreaking. And I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories.”

This is same Hillary Clinton who allegedly vowed to “destroy” women who accused her husband, Bill Clinton, of sexual harassment – who, according to the New York Times, was part of a devious campaign to see one of Bill’s ‘victims’ branded a “bimbo” and a “pathological liar”. Does Bill get a pass when we talk of sexual predators? Is Hillary so delusional – so iconic – all talk of her being her husband’s enabler is taboo?

She goes on to tell Marr:

“But I think that it’s important that we not just focus on him and whatever consequences flow from these stories about his behavior but that we recognize this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it’s in entertainment, politics. After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office. There has to be a recognition that we must stand against this kind of action that is so sexist and misogynistic.”

No. Donald Trump has never admitted to being a sexual assaulter.

She then encourages comparrisons between Trump and Weinstein.

“I’m not a psychologist, I can’t draw that conclusion. There are credible reports from women about both that sound very similar.”

Trump’s “pussy” comment was nasty. He has questionable views on women. But he has not been accused of rape. You know who has? Yep, Harvey Weinstein and…Bill Clinton.

Get a load of this exchange:

MARR: “And this depends on women coming forward and the courage to come forward. And yet in your book the three women, brought onto the stage by Trump, attacking your husband and you kind of dismissed them. Was that the right thing to do, are you sure about that?”

CLINTON: “Well, yes, because that had all been litigated. That was the subject of a huge investigation as you might recall in the late ’90s and there were conclusions drawn and that was clearly in the past.”

But the past cannot be so easily boxed up:

“I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me,” Juanita Broaddrick tweeted from her home in Van Buren, Ark. “I am now 73. . . . it never goes away.”

Harvey Weinstein deserves a fair trial. Hillary Clinton deserves to have her record looked at. Justice must not be denied.

Posted: 15th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Brexit is good for tea and tigers

Judith_Kerr_on_September_15,_2016_at_the_International_Literature_Festival_Berlin

 

Hold fast there! No need to flee Brexit Britain, where glorious democracy rules and inspires. I’ve been offered a Portuguese passport – something to do with the Inquisition and the Portuguese being sorry. Mrs Anorak qualifies for an Irish passport. Do we want them? Judith Kerr, author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea and other books – is a Jew who escaped the Nazis. Now living in London, she tells the FT:

“As soon as the vote of Brexit came through half the people I know were trying desperately to work out whether they had Irish grandmothers. But I would never take dual German nationality because I owe this country too much, and I wouldn’t want to dilute it.”

You might not like the result of the Brexit vote, but by god you should rejoice in it.

Posted: 15th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: The Metro and Google News trick fans with Sanchez to Man City story

Egregious balls in the Metro, which declares: “Arsenal News: Alexis Sanchez has decided to join Manchester City.” It’s one of the top three Arsenal stories on Google News:

 

But when you click on the story, things are not so clear. We read:

Alexis Sanchez has decided that his next destination will be Manchester City, according to reports.

But according to the Metro, Sanchez has decided to join Manchester City, right? It says so in the headline on Google News. But reading on, the Metro cites a different source to itself:

The Daily Mirror claims that the Chile international will not sign a new deal and Arsenal are now deciding whether to cash in on the 28-year-old in the January transfer window.

The Metro doesn’t bother to link to the Mirror’s story. But we do. And it does not say Sanchez has agreed to join City. It says Arsenal are in talks to extend Sanchez’s deal at Arsenal and that if the Chilean doesn’t stay in London, he could leave for City if they pay a big enough fee.

But Sanchez has made his mind up, right? Wrong. The Metro adds:

The Daily Mirror reports that Sanchez’s future in January will be decided by Arsenal’s season so far and whether the club are in with a realistic chance of winning major silverware.

Utter balls, then, in the dire Metro, which tricks people into reading its bilge.

 

 

Sanchez has not decided to join Man City. Other than that the story is correct.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 13th, October 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Harvey Weinstein begins the slow transformation from mogul to victim

Weinstein climbed into his air ambulance with a message to us all, and specifically, no doubt, fellow suffers of Weinstein Syndrome. “I’m hanging in, I’m trying my best,” he mustered. “I’m not doing OK but I’m trying. I gotta get help guys. You know what, we all make mistakes … Second chance, I hope.”

Stories abound that Weinstein is being treated for ‘sexual addiction’, which if right and placed in line with allegations levelled at him, reduces claims of his alleged criminal behaviour to a sympathetic hormone-fired back story. Get this from one of his people in the New Yorker: “Mr Weinstein has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Second chance is the mantra – and possibly the name of the cure-all pills and the clinic that provides them.

PS:  Is Weinstein V Addiction ever going to reach trial? If it does, given the vitriol and opining online and in print, can Weinstein ever get a fair trial? Better, perhaps, to blame it on the sex and have those troublesome genitals beaten with sticks.

Next week from behind the grave: “Jimmy Savile: I wound’t wish my disease on anyone.”

Posted: 13th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Inside China’s censorship factories

censorship china

 

To the Wisdom Mountain Twin Towers in China’s Tianjin city, where the bright young things are cleansing the internet of words and images the State would rather you did not see. The Chinese government often outsource censorship to British students private companies, like Toutiao, which raised $2B in capital markets. These companies are recruiting prim minds to uphold moral values and restrict your view of the world and the people around you.

And you won’t hear the West complain, not as long as the Chinese keep paying for our acquiescence. In August, under pressure of an academic boycott, Cambridge University Press reinstated over 300 articles it removed from its prestigious China Quarterly journal at the behest of the Chinese authorities. The Chinese State wants facts erased the world over:

Zhang Lijun, chairman of the online news and video portal V1 Group, said that between 20 and 30 per cent of his company’s labour costs went on content auditors – a necessary business expenditure.

“Without doubt you need to maintain close ties with the ruling party,” Zhang said. “Party building, setting up party units properly, these can ensure your news goes out smoothly and keeps your business operations safe.”

The Beijing-based censor said Toutiao used artificial intelligence systems to censor content, though these don’t always understand the tone of posts.

“We are training the AI. They are not as smart. Hopefully they will learn to handle all this eventually.” For now, though, real humans are still in demand.

An advertisement Toutiao posted on Tianjin Foreign Studies University’s career page for students this month sought 100 fresh graduates to work in “content audit”, earning between 4,000-6,000 yuan ($611-$917) per month.

Spotter: SCMP

Posted: 13th, October 2017 | In: News, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Sanchez talks progressing well and Manchester City worry

When Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger talks, the tabloids churn his words though the mangle and spit out sensation. Discussing the futures of the team’s Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez – both players in the final year of their current deals – Wenger said:

“The fact we didn’t agree last year doesn’t mean he [Ozil] wants to leave… Both players look happy and overall I hope the situation can be turned round, but at the moment we are not close enough to announce anything. Talks are going well.”

The headline news is that talks to keep Sanchez and Ozil at Arsenal are “going well”.

A journalist than asks if there’s deadline to the talks. “No,” says Wenger, “not at this moment.” The journo asks if it gets to the January transfer window and no deals have been agreed Arsenal will “count their losses” and sell bother players.  Wenger says you “envisage every solution”.  Will they leave? “It’s possible,” says Wenger.

Of course it is. That much is not new. The news is that talks are progressing with both players. Indeed, Ozil’s agent says his man wants to stay in the Premier League.

But in the Manchester Evening News the story that Arsenal are working to keep Sanchez becomes: “Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez hands Pep Guardiola transfer dilemma.” This apparent dilemma is whether Manchester City should buy Sanchez in January. But it’s not a dilemma in the Mirror, which announces: “Manchester City plot cut-price £20m transfer swoop for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez in January window.” Neither the Mirror nor MEN cite a single source for their stories.

Over in the Daily Mail, the Chilean has already made his mind up. “Alexis Sanchez set to leave Arsenal in January,” says the paper.  “Arsene Wenger is resigned to Alexis Sanchez leaving Arsenal in the January transfer window,” says the paper.

Is that what he said? No.

Such are the facts.

 

 

 

Posted: 13th, October 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


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


3 dead in Marseilles: ‘Allahu Akbar’ ad infinitum

Three people are dead at Marseilles’ Saint-Charles train station in France. Police shot one dead after he’d murdered the other two. The Guardian says the murderer was a “man”, an “assailant” armed with a knife, a “knifeman”. And that’s all.

“Two victims have been stabbed to death,” says regional police chief, Olivier de Mazieres on AFP.

But a clue to what the “man” might have been and why he did it comes via an unnamed French official, who tells France’s Le Monde newspaper that the killer yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he stabbed two women to death.

How relevant is that chant? It’s very relevant, reasons the Daily Mail, which unlike the BBC and Guardian makes the familiar war cry of militant Islam central to the story. “Two passengers are killed as attacker shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ slits a woman’s throat with a butcher’s knife and stabs another at Marseille station before soldiers shoot him dead,” announces the headline.

The Mail mentions “Islamist radicals” in its story. The Guardian makes no mention of Islam whatsoever in its. Why is there such a clear difference in reporting? Why does one publication make Islam a key part of the narrative, whilst another ignores it entirely? I’d hazard a guess that it’s something to do with the uncertain, fearful censorious times we live in. Ever watchful of triggering the slack-jawed mob, the simplest fact is redacted from reports lest it foment a race riot. With free speech and free expression stymied, what should be objective – simply stating the facts – becomes confrontational and daring. Most worryingly, it leaves the facts to actual bigots who adopt the role of rebels and present themselves as brave and knowing sources of ‘truth’.

As for the police, well, the soldiers who shot the killer dead are part of Operation Sentinelle, the military operation launched after Islamists massacred so many at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January 2015.

Good the soldiers were there, then.

Aside from a conversation on armed police on the streets this attack invites, is there also a conversation to be had about Islamist violence? Since 2015, more than 230 people in France have been killed in Islamist attacks. Discuss.

Posted: 1st, October 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit poll: 88% of young voters want Britain to quit the EU?

Is Brexit a disaster? We’re not sure what it entails in detail, but that vote was glorious. And a new poll tells us that far from being fans of a second referendum and voting until we deliver ‘the right’ answer, most of us rather enjoy democracy and the chance it’s given the country to try something different:

 

brexit poll

 

The stand-out figure is the 12% of 18- to 24-year-olds who think the country should press on and quit the European Union. That figure is topped by the 92% of the working class who want Brexit. Jeebus – 70% of Remainers want the country to get on with it.

So let’s not stop Brexit. Let’s not heed the demands of Labour MPs who demand a second referendum and think us all duped for voting for Brexit in the first place. They don’t want democracy; they want to stymie it.

The full survey for the Times went like this:

 

brexit

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 1st, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0