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The Dukes of Hazzard was never an advert for the ‘American swastika’

dukes of hazard ban

 

So toxic is the Confederate Flag that re-runs of The Dukes of Hazzard are forbidden. The TV show featured the General Lee car with its Confederate flag design. When the bansturbators make a move it’s good to ask why.

Variety says the ban is “clearly a response to the broader movement to withdraw the flag from official settings and in pop culture, given its historic connection to slavery and the Civil War. The push to remove Confederate flags and Stars and Bars icons came last month in the wake of the slayings of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church allegedly by a 21-year-old white supremacist.”

Did the Dukes of Hazzard make him do it?

 

Tim Teeman writes:

What is achieved by activist Bree Newsome scaling the flag pole outside the South Carolina state house, and removing the Confederate flag?

Everything.

What is achieved by TV Land banning reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard?

Nothing.

The first was a courageous, clever act of civil disobedience protesting the endemic, poisonous racism that lay at the heart of the Charleston massacre, with its roots in the South’s slavery-stained, Klan-stained past…

The second is a TV show, with two “good old boys” performing memorable car stunts and the grinning stupidity of Roscoe P. Coltrane. A dumber show, far further down the symbol food chain.

Do you confuse reality and fiction? Do you read works of literature as documents?

The flag is in a public space, central to a community. People have to walk past it, like it or not. The TV show is something you choose to watch or not watch, on a station you can choose to watch or not watch. The decision to remove the flag is right, the decision to strike the TV show seems extreme and wrong-headed, but entirely in keeping with our times.

 

A modern conservative  twist on an 80s classic

A modern conservative twist on an 80s classic

 

We are absolutely crazy about banning stuff. Sometimes the bans are in the public interest, like the Confederate flag flying over the court-house.

 

In our culture of instant offense, we ban before we think. However, banning isn’t a sign of strength or resolve, but an admission of defeat, of showing how little we have engaged with whatever the bigger issue that belies the ban.

Banning things is sign of insecurity. If you can no longer out-debate the bigot, then you’ve lost the argument. Banning is cowardly. It makes a martyr of the banned. It also makes it more attrative to anyone looking for a counterculture punch. The Dukes of Hazzard should wear its ban with pride.

 

In a recent interview with THR, Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider defended the series’ use of the flag. “Labeling anyone who has the flag a ‘racist’ seems unfair to those who are clearly ‘never meanin’ no harm,'” he said. His co-star Ben Jones has also come out in defense of the flag, saying it represents the “indomitable spirit of independence.”

Well, now it does.

Teeman adds:

Instead of asking or addressing the roots of violent racism in the South in 2015—far too difficult, far too intimidating—we focus on symbols. If we take a flag down, if we remove a TV show from the schedules, it shows we are doing something. It shows our hearts are in the right places…

 

Our culture today is entirely reactive, as if collectively we are 24/7 being tapped on our knees by little doctors’ hammers, primed to agree or disagree on whatever issue commands our attention in the moment.

 

 

It’s a good image. And if your knee doesn’t jerk upwards at the right moment, you are sick.

 

Is The Dukes of Hazzard really a racist-enough curio to ban? Is that what we think when we watch it? I watched the opening titles tonight, and a sequence of those bone-shaking stunts. It just seemed puerile, harmless.

Daniel P. Finney says the Confederate flag is “basically an American swastika”:

…after the leaders in South Carolina started having a meaningful discussion about the Confederate battle flag on government grounds, corporate America decided to have a meaningless one about what toys they sell.

Retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, eBay and Amazon have said they will no longer sell the Confederate flag or items with the flag on it. The General Lee, the car from the show, has such a flag emblazoned on the top of the vehicle.

Warner Bros., the company that produced the TV series and a couple movies based on the show, said it will no longer license “Dukes” products that feature the flag.

These companies don’t give a flip about racism or those victims in South Carolina. Many of them sell products made by child labor in China.

Amazon isn’t selling the Confederate flag anymore. OK, fine. They’re heroes.

But they sell bronze busts of Joseph Stalin, the Russian dictator who ordered the execution of at least 6 million of his own people. They sell his old banner, the Soviet flag, too.

They also sell English translations of “Mein Kampf,” German mass murderer Adolf Hitler’s racist manifesto.

And they offer T-shirts aplenty of convicted murderer Charles Manson. Also available: T-shirts of history’s most inappropriately lauded figure, Che Guevara. Alas, none size 6XLT.

And you know what? I accept all of it. This is a free country. If you want to spend your money on that junk and put it in your house, stick it on the back of your vehicle or walk around wearing it, that’s your right.

Now. Who wants to see the show?

 

 

Posted: 2nd, July 2015 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The age of knowing: college students fail to study literature because they fear free thinking

Prof. Gary Saul Morson of Northwestern University considers why college students are not longer studying literature. In Commentary magazine he wonders why it is “that students are choosing to study economics or chemistry rather than literature?…Could it be that the problem lies not with the students but with the professors themselves?”

What can students learn from literature that they cannot learn elsewhere? Why should they bother with it? For understandable reasons, literature professors assume the importance of their subject matter. But students are right to ask these questions. All courses are expensive, in money, time, and opportunity costs.

The teacher is failing:

One faults or excuses author, character, or the society depicted according to the moral and social standards prevalent today, by which I mean those standards shared by professional interpreters of literature. These courses are really ways of inculcating those values and making students into good little detectors of deviant thoughts.

“If only divorce laws had been more enlightened, Anna Karenina would not have had such a hard time!” And if she had shared our views about [insert urgent concern here], she would have been so much wiser. I asked one of my students, who had never enjoyed reading literature, what books she had been assigned, and she mentioned Huckleberry Finn. Pondering how to kill a book as much fun as that, I asked how it had been taught. She explained: “We learned it shows that slavery is wrong.” All I could think was: If you didn’t know that already, you have more serious problems than not appreciating literature.

In this approach, the more that authors and characters shared our beliefs, the more enlightened they were. This is simply a form of ahistorical flattery; it makes us the wisest people who ever lived, much more advanced than that Shakespeare guy. Of course, numerous critical schools that judge literary works are more sophisticated than that class on Huckleberry Finn, but they all still presume the correctness of their own views and then measure others against them. That stance makes it impossible to do anything but verify what one already believes. Why not instead imagine what valid criticisms these authors would advance if they could see us?

Banish the trigger warning:

We all live in a prison house of self. We naturally see the world from our own perspective and see our own point of view as obvious and, if we are not careful, as the only possible one. I have never heard anyone say: “Yes, you only see things from my point of view. Why don’t you consider your own for a change?” The more our culture presumes its own perspective, the more our academic disciplines presume their own rectitude, and the more professors restrict students to their own way of looking at things, the less students will be able to escape from habitual, self-centered, self-reinforcing judgments. We grow wiser, and we understand ourselves better, if we can put ourselves in the position of those who think differently.

Democracy depends on having a strong sense of the value of diverse opinions. If one imagines (as the Soviets did) that one already has the final truth, and that everyone who disagrees is mad, immoral, or stupid, then why allow opposing opinions to be expressed or permit another party to exist at all? The Soviets insisted they had complete freedom of speech, they just did not allow people to lie. It is a short step, John Stuart Mill argues, from the view that one’s opponents are necessarily guided by evil intentions to the rule of what we have come to call a one-party state or what Putin today calls “managed democracy.” If universities embody the future, then we are about to take that step. Literature, by teaching us to imagine the other’s perspective, teaches the habits of mind that prevent that from happening. That is one reason the Soviets took such enormous efforts to censor it and control its interpretation.

Read it all – it’s superb.

 

Posted: 2nd, July 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Blame the Jews: Greeks says Jews not Germans control their finances

The Jewish quarter, Smyrna, Greece, 1900s.

The Jewish quarter, Smyrna, Greece, 1900s.

 

In today’s edition of ‘I blame the Jews?’ the Free Beacon reports: “85% of Greeks Believe the Jews Have Too Much Power Over Global Finance“:

Are Greeks turning into Germans?

A new poll by the Anti-Defamation League found that the majority of Greeks continue to hold anti-Semitic views about Jewish control over finance and the global economy, despite a recent drop in anti-Jewish attitudes in other parts of Europe.

Nothing’s changed, then. Although it’s encouraging to nhear that the Fernch, Austrian and even the Swiss are less racist than they have been.

Greece—which faces the prospect of economic default at midnight on Wednesday—surpasses Iran and trails just slightly behind Turkey in the percentage of its residents who hold anti-Semitic views.

Can they push for the coveted Number 1 spot?

According to the ADL poll, 90 percent of Greeks agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much power in the business world” and 85 percent agreed “Jews have too much power in international finance markets.” 

In addition, 70 percent said that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust” and 51 percent said “Jews don’t care about what happens to anyone but their own kind.” 

They still talk about teh Holocaust? Maybe after the all surivors are dead the Jews will shut up, already. And its good to see that Mel Gibson still has a European fanbase:

One-third said Jews are “responsible for most of the world’s wars” and 41 percent agreed that “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.” 

And 59% said people hate Jews for the way they don’t behave. There is much in how the question if asked.

Of course, these days it’s easy to disguise your anti-Semitism as anti-Israel.

 

Posted: 2nd, July 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Black man arrested for sticking pro-KKK signs at black church

balck church kkk black man posters Vincent Broughton, 44, has been arrested for allegedly posting KKK signs outside a black church in Colorado. Vincent Broughton is black.

The signs were posted outside the New Covenant church that is predominately attended by African Americans. One sign references the KKK. Another reads, “Black men beware, you are the target.”

The messages were scary:

“We locked our doors this morning, so we were inside, but it shouldn’t be that way. You shouldn’t have to lock your doors in the church, it’s just… I’m speechless,” said Pastor Roland Joyner.

Why?

Posted: 2nd, July 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Boy with pain in ear pulls out four-inch centipede (photos)

Grant Botti, 14, from Bryant, Arkansas, had a huge centipede in his ear. He didn’t know it was there until he felt some pain. He rubbed his ear. He felt something unusual. He pulled it. And out slid a 4-inch centipede.

 

cenitpede ear

 

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Posted: 2nd, July 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Town raffles chance to Taser city police officials and buy more Tasers

iowa taser police contest raffleThe ducking stool and stocks are so yesterday. For the price of a $5 raffle ticket, locals in Van Meter, Iowa, can win the chance to Taser City Administrator Jake Anderson or Councilman Bob Lacy. All monies got to the Spontaneous Combustion Guild of America. No, better than that: all proceeds will fund the purchase a second police car, a speed radar, more cops and Tasers.

Says Police Chief Bill Daggart: “Most officers will tell you they’d much rather be tased than pepper sprayed. The effects are so short, and it doesn’t burn.”  

And if you hold a lightbulb over your head you can see your brain light up…

 

Posted: 2nd, July 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Nicholas Winton 1909-2015: one man who did the right thing

Nicholas_Winton_in_Prague

 

Nicholas Winton has died. Winton was the Briton who became a lifesaver for hunderds of Jews. He arranged for trains to carry children from Nazi-occupied Prague to Britain.

In 1938 he took a trip to Czechoslovakia. He realised the Germans were coming. He knew the Jews would be sent to concentration camps.

(Not just the Jews, of course. My wife’s grandfather shot dead a German SS officer who had come for him in Domažlice. He ran. In a hideous act of vengeance, the Germans sent his mother and 149 others to the death camps. J-J, by a long way round, joined the French resistance. But the life of the man who became Casablanca’s Charles Legrand is another story.)

Nicholas Winton tasked himself with saving the children. He arranged for passes and impeached British families to give the children a home. Not all of the children found happy homes. Some were used to cheap servants. But they lived.

They were the lucky ones.

On Sept. 3, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. A train scheduled to depart that day was to carry 250 children. They never made it out. But by then Winton had managed to save the lives of 669 children.

Few of the children that reached Britain on the Kindertransports ever saw their parents again.

Never forget.

PS: on a personal note, I grew up listening to the stories of the saved. Not just the children who had left all family love to start life among strangers in a foreign country. It would only be for a short while. Things would return to normal soon. We’ll come to bring you home. So went the stories as the children were sent away. My neighbour had been smuggled out of Denmark. A friend’s father had passed her off as his own daughter. When the Nazis knocked on the door of her home in Copenhagen, the man, a photographer by trade, hid her in his dark room. He placed her inside a vat of liquid and shut the lid. By luck, hope and above all human empathy and kindness she made it to Britain. She worked hard all her life. She made no fuss. She asked for nothing special. The saved never do. They just want to carry on. It’s up to the rest of us to let them…

 

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Playboy model Viky Xipolitakis and two pilots in hot water for sexy cockpit larks (photos)

Viky Xipolitakis cockpit

‘Have you ever seen a grown man naked’

 

Two Argentinian pilots who allowed Greek Playboy model Viky Xipolitakis into the cockpit have been sacked. Patricio Zocchi Molina and Federico Matias Soaje, who thought it a good idea to let Viky play with the joystick during take-off, face eight years in prison and a $10 million lawsuit brought by 11 of the passengers.

The Buenos Aires Herald says the pilots have been charged with an “attack against aircraft security”.

But was it worth it?

Viky Xipolitakis

A pair of tits

 

Ms Xipolitakis, who tweeted the flight, has been banned from flying with the airline for five years. She now sees herself as a victim:

“I never thought I could cause such harm. I am deeply sad. I had a wonderful experience in the flight and never thought it could cause such fuss. I didn’t know I couldn’t go into the cockpit. The pilots should have told me not to. Now I reckon my life has been in danger.”

You reckon?

Screen shot 2015-07-01 at 16.18.17

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Leicester City gave Nigel Pearson the bird

pearson sacked ostrichWhy was Nigel Pearson sacked from his job as manager of Leicester City?

The Sun says the club’s Thai owners “showed him the door over the fallout at the axing of his son”.

They decided to act after booting out James Pearson and two other players last month for making a racist sex tape during a club tour to Thailand.

Is it fair that Pearson should pay for the sins of his ignorant son?

Rory Smith notes:

The man who guided Leicester City to what may be the greatest of the Barclays Premier League’s great escapes might have felt that his remarkable recovery had made him bullet-proof.

Leicester supporters’ club chairman Cliff Ginetta says:

“I’m very shocked. The club are not happy with the way he ran the trip to Thailand.”

Pearson has some form. Last season he took hold of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur by the throat. He’d allegedly told a fan to “f*** off and die”. Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha sacked him. Then his son Aiyawatt reversed that descions. Pearson was back.

He then did something remarkably stupid and bizarre. Pearson attacked journalist Ian Baker for being an “ostrich” after Leicester’s 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea. At a press confernce Baker had upset Pearson by asking the manager to expand on his own comments that the media were less than supportive of the team. Pearson gave Baker the bird:

Pearson: Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no.
Baker: Probably not.
Pearson: I can. You can’t. You can’t.

As Giles Smith quipped:

A complex piece of points scoring here by Pearson. Not only was the reporter an ostrich, he wasn’t even flexible enough to be an ostrich. Whereas Pearson wasn’t an ostrich, but at least he was flexible enough to be one.

But Pearson wasn’t sacked for being a one-man Bernie Clifton tribute act. Well, so says the BBC:

BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy has learned the 51-year-old’s sacking was “definitely not a football issue”. Murphy said the Thai owners acted because they were concerned about damage to the club’s reputation, while a Leicester statement said the relationship between Pearson and the board was “no longer viable”.

Says Murphy:

“There is no doubt that the image and the reputation of the club in their homeland of Thailand has been damaged by the behaviour of, among others, the manager’s son James on the ‘goodwill’ tour to Thailand.”

Murphy is not exactly best pals with Pearson. After the ostrich horrorshow, Murphy went to a Leicester City press conference and berated Pearson, who came over as chippy and not at all flexible (via).

PM: Nigel, why can’t you be more specific about the criticisms of your players from the media when on behalf of the media of the Midlands we are a bit baffled by that because we think we have been very supportive of the players this season?

NP: Do you? Okay, that is your opinion.

PM: Can you give us a specific example of the disagreement?

NP: No, I don’t feel I want to get into that sort of an argument with you.

PM: You are generalising about us…

NP: And you generalise about me! There you are.

PM: But I am giving you specific examples, I know how supportive the media have been.

NP: Do you?

PM: Yes, having spoken to a lot of the media this season I can’t get this at all that we are after you.

NP: I didn’t say you were. I said there had been criticisms and I will stick up for my players, and always will.

PM: There will always be elements of criticism when you have been bottom of the league for a certain amount of time, but many, many people have been saying you have been unlucky, that things have not gone your way.

NP: I think you are looking at your side of the argument through rose tinted glasses. That is something that I am not going to get into a discussion with you about today.

PM: It takes two to tango.

NP: It does indeed.

PM: You had a go at one of our reporters in my opinion unfairly.

NP: Well there you are. I think we have come in for some criticism and so have I when I think it is unfair. So there we are.

PM: Surely it comes with the territory?

NP: Well there you are then. Absolutely.

PM: When did it dawn on you to apologise? How soon after did you think, ‘ooh I was out of order there’?

NP: Again, I don’t think that is something I need to answer. I have apologised and I would, had it been a more private thing, I would have apologised one to one, but when it has been in the public domain, the public eye I think it is right to do it the way I have done it, and that is all there is to it.

PM: Did you speak to the owners at any stage?

NP: No.

PM: So it was your decision?

NP: Yes.

PM: There is a bit of a charge sheet developing here this season is there not?

NP: Possibly. Is that why you are here?

PM: One of the reasons I am here today is because every week you won’t do the type of press conference that other Premier League clubs do. If you did do it so it was in different sections then I would be here more often. I don’t see why I have to justify why I am here Nigel.

NP: Fine.

PM: The question stands…

NP: And I don’t see why I have to continue to take your one-sided view of this argument.

PM: You put it in the public domain.

NP: Absolutely, yes, I have.

PM: So the charge sheet, does that not bother you?

NP: Not particularly, no.

PM: You must sit back here and think ‘ooh, I have got a few things wrong this season in public or dealing with supporters etc. It is the worst charge sheet of any Premier League manager so far this season in terms of that kind of behaviour.

NP: Okay.

PM: You are in danger of appearing a bully.

NP: Am I?

PM: Yes. And paranoid.

NP: Paranoid? Okay. Anything else?

PM: Well, someone has to tell you.

NP: Okay, you are telling me?

PM: Hasn’t anyone ever told you that before? Has no one ever taken you to one side and said ‘Nigel, I think you are out of order here’?

NP: If they have then that is my business.

PM: Leicester have got such a good reputation recently in particular. So many people say what a great fightback this is. You could have been Manager of the Month. You still might be Manager of the Month.

NP: I don’t see what the point is. What is your point with that? Are you suggesting my job is to pander to your requirements?

PM: Of course not. What I will say to you is that the football world gets a lot of money from via media these days and gives you a very comfortable living, and you could treat them with a little more respect. Disagree with them by all means. Okay, you have apologised now but it has panned out into a big story, it didn’t need to be a big story. It is a 24/7 story all over 24 hours okay. It is all your doing.

NP: Okay. You have obviously been sent here to put your industry’s case forward.

PM: I don’t think I need to justify my motives but when a fellow reporter gets unfairly criticised byt a manager I will defend that reporter, that is instinct.

NP: Fine, and you are doing.

PM: Just as you would defend a fellow manager.

NP: And I will absolutely always support my players.

PM: I just think you are affecting the reputation of Leicester City by your conduct off the field.

NP: Do you? Okay.

You can’t rule out the role of media is ending Pearson’s Leicester City career. Not that the official club statement mentions any specifics:

“The board of directors recognises the success Nigel has helped to bring to Leicester City during his two spells in charge of the club, particularly during the last three and a half years. However, it has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable.

“Leicester City’s owners, Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, and the board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Nigel for the considerable contribution he has made during his time with the club and wish him well in future.”

No longer viable. Ouch!

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lord Janner: justice delayed is no justice at all for Victor Nealon and Sam Hallam

Victor Nealon

Victor Nealon

 

Lord Janner of Braunstone is to to be prosecuted over child sex abuse claims.

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, was wrong. Leading lawyer David Perry QC reviewed the facts and found that Janner should be charged with historical child abuse offences.

The move means Saunders is the first DPP to have a major decision reviewed and overturned. She is toast. She might also see herself as a victim of the times.

But what does it all mean?

The Guardian:

It means Lord Janner could face a trial of the facts, in which a jury hears the evidence against an individual considered too ill for a full trial. This is expected to cover 22 offences allegedly committed in the 1960s, 70s and 80s by Janner, who now has dementia.

What next?

A statement from the CPS said the case against Janner would begin with a hearing at Westminster magistrates court on 7 August.

By then another month will have rolled by. Lord Janner is 86. He’s ill.

It will be the first time that allegations against Janner – which have been the subject of three failed police investigations – will be aired in a courtroom.

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Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Someone made this Kim Kardashian sex tape flag for Glastonbury

Kim Kardashian sex tape flag Glastonbury

 

Did you watch Kanye West at Glastonbury? Good to see he’s overcome the crippling shyness. For that, perhaps, we can credit his wife, the fragrant Kim Kardashian (top notes or honeysuckle or base notes of jacaranda wood and sexy musk). Not a day goes by without Kim showing us one of her body parts, either from a new angle or covered in a rare by-product of the petro-chemical industries.

As Kanye gave full throat to one of his hits, he must have been delighted to look over the throng and see a flag depiciting sweet Kim giving full throat to one Ray J, the co-star of the sex tape that stoked her celebrity and launched the careers of a million Kardashians.

The Indy notes:

Ironically, the incident came ahead of a talk she is due to give on the objectification of women in media in Oakland, California.

Kim is thought to be speaking on behalf of the ‘Let’s Have More Of It’ side of the debate.

Spotter: LadBible

Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal flop Gervinho’s move to Abu Dhabi Club collapses over demands for a private beach

gervino

 

Former Arsenal player Gervinho has managed to achieve what many thought impossible: he has made the princes of Abu Dhabi think his lifestyle too rich, a tad flashy.

Gazzetta dello Sport says Gervinho’s move from Roma to Abu Dhabi’s Al Jazira FC is off.

An unnamed Al Jazira executive has publicly bemoaned the 28-year-old winger’s ‘obscene’ contract demands. It’s claimed the player wanted a personal helicopter, access to his own private beach and unlimited plane travel.

Add that to a reported €13million fee and the package was too rich for the Abu Dhabi locals.

If only he would have stuck at the air-conditioned rain forest, things would have been easy.

 

Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Watch the Georgia Brains Trust in the world’s funniest Confederate flag display

Mobile phones be praised. Thanks to technology we can watch the Georgia Brains Trust’s Confederate flag demo in full cry.

Roll it:

 

Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Drain the swamp: the Cold War on Islamic terror

Messages and flowers are left on Marhaba beach where 38 people were killed on Friday in a terrorist attack on June 28, 2015 in Souuse, Tunisia. Sousse beaches remain quiet following the Tunisia beach attack which left 38 dead, including at least 15 Britons. Around 1,000 tourists returned to the UK with more set to follow in the coming days

 

In 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron responded to Lee Rigby’s brutal murder by jihadis in London by vowing the “drain the swamp” of violent Islam. He told the Commons:

 “…it is not simply enough to target and go after violent extremists after they’ve become violent. We have to drain the swamp in which they inhabit.”

The phrase was heard in 2001. Back then US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters in the Pentagon:

The best way to get at the terrorist networks is to “drain the swamp they live in,” Rumsfeld said, referring to action against countries that harbor terrorist activities…

“The people who committed these acts are clearly determined to try to force the United States of America and our values to withdraw from the world or to respond by curtailing our freedoms,” he said. “If we do that the terrorists will have won.”

Basically, Americans have a choice, Rumsfeld explained. They can change the way they live, which the secretary called unacceptable, or America can change the way the terrorists live. We have chosen the latter. We intend to put them on the defensive,” Rumsfeld said. “This requires a distinctly different approach from any war that we have fought before.”

How well did that go?

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Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Karen Danczuk on her marriage break up: it wasn’t him it was me, me, me

Karen-DanczukSays flirty Karen Danczuk fresh from her separation from posturing paedo-hunting MP Simon Danczuk tells the Sun:

 “He was overwhelmed that suddenly it was all about me! I think there was a bit of jealousy….It used to be all about Simon. I used to be his plus-one, but it changed dramatically and became more about me. Even at MP events, I became the star. Simon probably just felt a little taken aback.”

 

The Sun adds:

Before her rise to fame, Karen was happy in her role as MP’s wife bringing up their two boys Milton and Sebastian in Rochdale, Gtr Manchester.

Odd. Yesterday the Mirror said her sons were called Milton and Maurice? still, who cares about that pair when you have pneumatic Karen and her tweets.

“There was no blazing argument. There was a lot of tension that built up over time with how our lives were becoming very different. We just knew it couldn’t go on. There was a moment the next morning where Simon back-tracked and we both cried but my mind was made up by then. I finished it for the both of us.”

Karen went solo:

“It was difficult for him for me to suddenly be in the limelight, but I’ve realised he’s got his career and now it’s time for me to not only focus on the boys but also my career.”

And her career seems to be suppoted by the Sun, whose agont aunt Dear Deirdre opines:

…this sad story of a relationship foundering because a high-profile husband can’t stand the limelight shifting to his missus is pretty familiar.

Is that what happened? Who knows. All we know is that a vain, media-friendly MP and his flirty, fame-seeking wife are in the news. A stint on Love Island or Big Brother beckons.

And it should be entertaining. As Camilla Long wrote:

I have never met a family so chaotic. (During the interview she cries and then Simon cries, both swear and loudly slag other people off and everyone behaves as if this is a perfectly normal Sunday morning.)

 

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Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


You all paid for West Ham United’s Olympic stadium and cheap tickets to woo a foreign buyer

west ham stadium

More rings than bubbles

 

West Ham United are moving into the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium. If you think that’s the end of the Olympic Legacy, you’d be mistaken. The money involved is entirely in keeping with the profligate Olympic spend: the London 2012 Olympic bill came in at £9bn – far higher than the original projected cost of £2.75 billion.

The newlook Olympic stadium has cost the taxpayer a massive £702m. It was supposed to cost £280m. But somehow the fees and build soared – it cost £272m just to alter the place to become a football ground.

Why?

Dan Roan cites one expensive design flaw:

The stadium’s owners, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), admits the project is over-budget by around £35m. Putting the largest cantilevered roof in the world on to a superstructure that had not been built to bear that kind of weight was far more complex and expensive than envisaged – the contract was announced initially at £155m, before rising to £189m in October.

Compare that to the £42m required to convert the City of Manchester stadium after the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Given that it cost a generous £798m for the 90,000-capacity Wembley (the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff cost £121m in 1999), West Ham fans cost more per head than England supporters.

And what does it cost West Ham? Well, the club will make a £15m contribution on top of the £2.5m they will pay annually for a 99-year lease. That looks cheap.

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Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Morgan Schneiderlin joins Manchester United ‘tomorrow’ and Arsenal yesterday

 Morgan Schneiderlin

‘Just thinking about tomorrow…”

 

Transfer Balls: The Press are convinced that Morgan Schneiderlin is on his way to Manchester United from Southampton. But when?

June 28, Daily Star: Man Utd plan to CONFIRM signing of £24m Arsenal target Morgan Schneiderlin TOMORROW”

June 28, Daily Mirror: “Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin to join Red Devils on Wednesday”

June 29, Daily Telegraph: “Southampton and France midfielder expected to complete move to Old Trafford for fee of £24m in coming days”

At least all papers can agree that Schneiderlin is certain to be at Old Trafford next season. Or not. Let’s just focus on the one-great-and-now-dire Daily Telegraph’s reporting:

June 28, Daily Telegraph: “Man Utd told to speed up signing of Morgan Schneiderlin – but Van Gaal holding out for Bastian Schweinsteiger”

June 29, Daily Telegraph: “Arsenal… yet to make move for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin”

It could be that Arsenal will still enter the bidding, with Wenger overseeing a budget this summer of around £50 million…

It could be. But on the same day the Telegraph said it could be, the paper of record also wrote that it won’t be:

It is understood… that the France international will travel to Manchester within the next 48 hours to undergo a medical before finalising a move to Old Trafford.

In earlier Telegraph news you can rely on:

May 8: “Arsene Wenger to make £25m bid for Saints’ Morgan Schneiderlin”

21 Dec 2014: “Arsenal are set to make a ‘monster’ bid to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 25, in January.”

Number of bids made by Arsenal for Schneiderlin: nil. 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spare us the faux outrage over Amran Hussain’s Tunisia death beach selfie

Screen shot 2015-06-29 at 11.32.08

 

Amran Hussain, 29, a Labour candidate for the North East Hampshire in the recent election, has visited the beach where Seifeddine Rezgui murdered 38 tourists on Friday. He took a selfie. The spot where so many lost their lives became an ‘I was there’ moment.

Mr Hussain tells MailOnlinewho brand the photo “a sick selfie”:

“Selfies are not banned. I don’t see anything wrong with it. We were not capturing a happy moment, we were very distressed after what happened and we went down to the beach for 30 minutes to show solidarity. We laid flowers and wrote a tribute and prayed to those who lost their lives in the horrific massacre. We would have asked someone else to take a picture of us, but we were in the moment and we wanted to take a picture with the tribute and flowers we had put down. It has been taken completely out of context. It was all very upsetting and we just wanted to have a reminder of what happened. I just happened to be using a selfie stick as that is what I always use.”

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Posted: 29th, June 2015 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Arturo Vidal moves to Arsenal and Chile becomes Italy

Transfer Balls: The Daily Telegraph says Arsene Wenger and Arsenal have beaten Manchester United to Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal.

They have?

Arturo Vidal, the Juventus midfielder, appears set to join Arsenal this summer after reports in Chile claim the 28-year-old has signed a deal with the north Londoners… despite United’s interest in Vidal, it now looks like the player will join Arsenal who have agreed a £21 million deal for the player, according to Chilean newspaper La Stampa.

The Indepedent cites the same source for its Vidal to Arsenal story:

Screen shot 2015-06-29 at 09.24.43

The only problem with the Tele and Indy’s stories is that La Stampa is not a newspaper in Chile. They speak Spanish there. La Stampa is Italian for ‘The Press”. And there is a newspaper in Italy called La Stampa. 

The Daily Mail gets that part of the Vidal story correct. But it fails to link to the story.

And on La Stampa’s website there is no news of the transfer.

But we did find this:

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We can’t find that radio interview, and on Feler’s twitter account he makes no tweet about Vidao to Arsenal.. But this tweeter does:

 

Screen shot 2015-06-29 at 09.56.54

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, June 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tunisia: 30 dead and good David Cameron’s Christian plea for intolerance over Muslim evil

Nearly all newspapars lead with the massacre in Sousse, Tunisia. Can the newspapers make sense of the madness?

The Guardian counts the number of dead that “could it 30″.

Why guess?

The paper leads with a photo of a woman in Christian prayer. Most of the victims were Christian. Is the point of showing this photo to heighten that fact?

 

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The Mail focuses on the pain of not knowing who is dead.

 

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But the Daily Mirror knows. It opts for stating the bald facts: “MASSACRE ON THE BEACH – 30 BRITS ARE DEAD.”

 

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Readers see the face of Trudy Jones, 52, from Blackwood, Caerphilly county. It and the picutre of  ‘Relative” grieving are voyeuristic. We’re gawping. This is all show and no tell.

 

The Daily Star and Sun opt for hope.

Ben Wilton and Shelley Hay survived the attack by Seifeddine Rezgui. They ran. Yesterday they got engaged.

Says Shelley:

“Our hearts go out to all the families who have lost someone and those who were injured. Our marriage proposal is just one little bit of good that has come out of such a tragic day.”

Says Ben:

“I wanted to show my love for Shelley and I didn’t want the terrorists to win. I thought, ‘Screw them. They are not going to stop us’. It was an act of defiance against what happened… I was determined the gunman would not spoil Shelley’s day. And because I had only given her a card that morning she knew I had something special for her. We weren’t hungry but we went down for a meal that night where the staff had laid a special table for her and baked a birthday cake.”

 

 

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But what do we know?

The Independent tells us what we don’t know but do fear.

“Tunisian killer may not have acted alone”

Or to put it another way: ‘Tunisian killer may have acted alone.’ It’s always useful to twist a headline to reveal what it really tells us, which is nothing.

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Seifeddine Rezgui – the student who carried out the murderous attack in the Tunisian resort of Sousse which left at least 30 Britons feared dead – disappeared along with six other young men he shared a house with a month before the slaughter on the beach, The Independent understands.

Rezgui is dead.

A number of the men, who had rented the property next to the Mosque of the Seven Virgins in the Islamic holy city of Kairouan, remained at large.

The group led secretive lives, deliberately avoiding contact with local people, according to neighbours, who also claimed that there were visits by a group of Salafists before the building was suddenly left empty. Authorities in Tunisia are “sure” Rezgui had help in Friday’s murderous rampage – though not direct – and are searching for his accomplices.

Where is it looking?

The government in Tunis has announced that it will put in an extra 1,000 armed police to protect tourist facilities and hotels after hundreds more were deployed at beach resorts in the aftermath of the massacre.

Too late. The killer has murdered 39 people. Tunisia is off the agenda for holidaymakers.

The state news agency, TAP, reported that gunmen had raided homes for food in el Kef, around a 100 miles from the coast, before heading into hills bordering Algeria. It was unclear whether there was connection between this and the Sousse killings.

And Algeria bookings are down.

Imam of the Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba in Kairouan says…

…“damaging actions by weak governments” which followed the overthrow of the dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali four years ago had contributed to Kairouan being infected by extremism.

“From 2011 to last year we had all kinds of imams coming here, from Tunisia and abroad, from Saudi Arabia and Gulf States and other places to spread this kind of thought. This has now been stopped by the new government, but there were plenty of opportunities for this man Rezgui to be indoctrinated,” said Imam Taib… “It would be better to change the imams there. None of these mosques is in Kairouan. We had trouble like that in two mosques last year and we changed the imams… What happened shows that Kairouan is not place for terrorists. Because this killer lived here for a while, this city is now getting a bad name. But he wasn’t even born here.”

Nothing to see here, guv. Move along. It’s not us. It’s them.

The Times says the UK mainland could be next. Maybe.

 

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What do we know?

Sub-machineguns have been smuggled into Britain, raising fears of a jihadist attack similar to the atrocity in which it is feared that more than 30 British holidaymakers were killed in Tunisia.

Jihadis smuggled them in?

The National Crime Agency warned of the “increased threat” of Czech-made Skorpion weapons, capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute, being trafficked and sold to criminal gangs. The warning alarmed counterterrorist agencies, which have found evidence of a crossover between gangs and jihadist activity, including the trade in firearms.

Well, of course criminals will deal with each other.

Britain has sent security experts to assist the Tunisian investigation into the killer, Seifeddine Rezgui, including tracing those who radicalised him and helped him to acquire his gun and grenade

Or as the Express puts it:

“Send in the SAS to crush Jihadis”

 

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The Herald focuses on the local.

 

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Jim and Ann McQuire, from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, were murdered.

 

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The Telegraph goes for the strangest front page: an open letter from Prime Minister David Cameron.

 

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And what he says is odd:

Britain is a nation united in shock and in grief. As the names and identities of the victims in Tunisia emerge – and the horror of what they faced becomes clear – those feelings grow. Everyone is asking the same thing: how can a day at the beach for families and friends have turned into a scene of such horror?

The man who did this, the smiling gunman with a Kalashnikov hidden in a parasol, demonstrates the level of evil we are dealing with. It’s an evil we’ve seen on Mount Sinjar in Iraq and in shopping malls in Kenya; at magazine offices in Paris and in schools in Pakistan.

Having set the story as one of good against evil, Cameron then tells us:

But we will not be cowed. To our shock and grief we must add another word: resolve. Unshakeable resolve. We will stand up for our way of life. So ours must be a full-spectrum response – a response at home and abroad; in the immediate aftermath and far into the future.

If our way of life means package holidays to Tunisia, Cameron’s wrong. He then says we must give police more powers to watch for jihadis online. The problem is that the killer was not known to the authorities in Tunisia.

We must also deal with it at its source, in places like Syria, Iraq and Libya, from where ISIL is peddling and plotting its death cult.

How? We bombed Libya. We invaded Iraq. And our leaders have told us that Syria’s President Assad – still there! – is evil, a man who used chemical weapons on his enemies. That, said President Obama, was a “red line”.

The US and the West helped created the power vacuum that the Islamists are filling.

That means supporting governments to strengthen weak political institutions and tackle political instability. These ungoverned spaces are the areas in which the terrorist groups thrive.

They are not ungoverned: they are governed by the enemy.

The third thing, perhaps the most important thing, is confronting the poisonous ideology that is driving terrible actions like those we saw on Friday. That ideology stems from an extremist narrative, which hijacks the religion of Islam. It says that the West is bad and freedom is wrong.

And once again Dave is an expert on theology.

We must expose and defeat what it is that persuades young people, from Tunisia to Kuwait, from Belgium to Britain, to join ISIL.

Give them more money? End the idea that multi-culturalism is possible? Celebrate true divesity. Hold freedom of thought and freedom of speech sacred, even if you don’t agree with it? Bang ’em up? Wtch them. Turn Muslims into The Other and then offer cod explantions for their thoughts and deeds? Further the idioticy that all Muslims think alike by talking about them as a ‘community’?

When the gunman attacked innocent people spending time with their families on the beach, he was attacking the very things we stand for. We must be stronger at standing up for our values – of peace, democracy, tolerance, freedom. We must be more intolerant of intolerance – rejecting anyone whose views condone the Islamist extremist narrative and create the conditions for it to flourish.

Great. Dave says we will not be undone. Dave then says we must not be tolerant of anyone who says things we don’t like. The ISIS question looks like it born of Western indecision and weakness.

After all, this is not the war between Islam and the West that ISIL want people believe. It’s between the extremists who want hatred to flourish and the rest of the world who want freedom to prosper. They will kill anyone that doesn’t adhere to their warped worldview – Muslim and non-Muslim. They demonstrate that day in, day out.

This is a battle of ideas, a war between cultures and ways of life. It’s not up to Dave to say what is and what is not the true face of Islam. It’s up to him to be the face of the plan to undo its power.

It’s the spirit we have always shown when we faced threats to our nation in our history. It’s the spirit that saw London rebound after the 7/7 attacks, whose 10th anniversary we mark next month. It’s the spirit we saw as British tourists went to the beach in Tunisia this weekend, determined not to be cowed by the terrorists. We are the people who stand up to hatred. They are the cowards who murder defenceless people on a beach. They stand for oppression; we stand for freedom, and a peaceful, tolerant way of life.

Freedeom from or freedom to?

Posted: 29th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Space is tough: unmanned SpaceX Rocket explodes after launch

SPACE X

 

The Unmanned SPACEX rocket has exploded over the Atlantic Ocean:

A mission by an unmanned SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket has ended in failure after it exploded after lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The rocket was supposed to despatch a cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS).

The lower segment of the rocket was then meant to turn around and use its engines to bring itself down to a floating barge.

It was US company SpaceX’s third failed attempt at the manoeuvre.

Bids in January and April ended in explosive impacts in the Atlantic Ocean.

“The vehicle has broken up,” said Nasa commentator George Diller, after Nasa television broadcast images of the white rocket falling to pieces.

The SpaceX rocket was carrying 4,000 pounds of supplies for the three astronauts aboard the I.S.S.

In January:

“Close, but no cigar this time,” the company’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, announced via Twitter shortly after the unprecedented touchdown effort.

Image: the Doppler weather radar site in Melbourne, Florida, picks up the explosion.

 

Posted: 29th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Watch how ‘infidel’ Christianity became the world’s most persecuted religion

The world’s most persecuted religion is: Christianity. Although it would be Jews, Buddhists or Mormons if there were more of them in the Middle East and North Africa. And you’d read it about it more if the lWestern media was not so obsessed with Israel:

 

Posted: 28th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Watch CNN report on ISIS flag at London Gay Pride (fails to notice it’s made out of butt plugs and dildos)

Isil_flag buttplug

 

The London Gay Pride march featured an ISIS flag. CNN is shocked and appalled.

Lucy Pawle has noticed a man dressed in black. He’s holding an ISIS flag, says Lucy.

It’s made of dildos and butt plugs.

But Lucy never noticed:

 

Posted: 28th, June 2015 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jesus founds in tortilla chip (photos)

jesus 1

 

What deos Jeus taste of? To the family in Tlalixtac de Cabrera, Mexico, he tastes of tortilla. But Josefina Guzman has placed the tortilla not in her mouth, but on an altar.

 

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“I’ve been making tortillas for a very long time,” she said, “but I’ve never seen anything like this before. It is a “miracle”.

The recipe for a Jesus tortilla is heavy doses of belief, hot oil and burning:

 


YouTube link.

Posted: 28th, June 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Elderly white woman arrested for slapping idiot police officer who wrongly called at her home

Phyllis Stankiewicz

 

Equal opportunities police stupidity in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where Phyllis Stankiewicz, 88, has been arrested for assaulting officers in her own home.

The story bwgan when the keystone cops were dispatched to 57 Wilson St. There were reports of someone playing havok with a baseball bat.  When Stankiewicz came to the door, police said, she was carrying a knife. It was at the police officer’s “waist level”. Stankiewicz appeared “angry and confused”. She yelled: “There’s no crime here! Get out of my house!”

And she was right. The police had arrived at the wrong address. The call was for 57 Memorial Drive,

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Posted: 28th, June 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0