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UKIP only offer a free pint to ever Daily Star reader and the EDL

In today’s Daily Star, UKIP leader Nigel Farage is offering readers a free pint:

 

UKIP letter

 

 

But in the Daily Express, readers just get a littler Nigel and no booze:

 

UKIP letter 2

 

Are Daily Star readers so easily bought?
star

 

Free beer!

 

Posted: 6th, May 2015 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Free Speech: Bath Student Union and chaplains banned this Mohammed and Jesus joke

bath comedy society

You won’t see Bath University’s Comedy Writing, Improvisation and Performance Society’s sketch Cooking With Christ. It’s been censored by the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, known locally as the Student Union.

This Morality Council was supported by university chaplains in ordering a line featuring Mohammed cut from the show. The censors said the joke caused “great offence”.

Bath Impact reports:

The Bible According to CWIPS was the title of the performance that had the cramped, upstairs-corner of the Bath Brew House roaring with laughter. The show combined pop culture, Richard Dawkins, and the bestseller of all time – the Bible – to construct an amusingly witty performance. However, prior to the opening night, the society was met with some rather strong requests to edit the show.

The CWIPS then made a bad move: it asked the Student Union to decide if one sketch that mentioned Mohammed went too far?

Two SU officials concluded with the committee that the sketch crossed the fine line between humour and offensiveness, and the sketch was swiftly removed from the show.

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Posted: 6th, May 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Free speech and anti-Islam in Garland: ‘Never assume that you can outgun an art show in Texas’

Screen shot 2015-05-05 at 21.02.44

 

Thoughts on the Garland, Texas, shootings. Was it a show of free speech to host a let’s draw Mohammed art show? Was it deliberate provocation? I’d say, yes and yes.

Around 200 people were at Pamela Geller’s New York–based American Freedom Defense Initiative’s Muhammad Art Exhibit. The event featured a contest for cartoon depictions of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. To the winner a $10,000 prize and world-wide fame.
Geller’s driving force was, apparently, a chance for her to stand with Charlie Hebdo, the French magazine whose staff were slaughtered by Islamists for depicting Mohammed. Among other things, Geller wants to ban New York’s Park51, the planned Muslim community center she denounces as “the ground zero mega-mosque”. Her committment to free speech is pretty much zero. Satire works best when it’s a scattergun aiming high and low. Geller picks away at a single target. She is no Charlie Hebdo.
Many in the UK first heard of anti-Islam bloggers Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer when in 2013 they were scheduled to address the anti-Islam party the English Defence League, itself no fan of free speech.  Theresa May, the Home Secretary, banned them from the country. Their presence would not be “conducive to the public good”.
What utter balls. Let them all in. Let them all talk. Banning speech is a sign of the bansturbators weakness. They don’t trust their countrymen to hold the nutjobs to ridicule. We are all so stupid that exposure to the invited guest will turn the sane into race rioters, bigots and mass murderers. Of course it’s not good for community cohesion to have somone spouting racist claptrap, but banning, say, Zakir Naik, who “professed his admiration for Osama Bin Laden” or the ridiculous and now dead anti-gay loon Fred Phelps only serves to make you wonder who gets to talk and why? That creates problems of trust in the censor.
Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University nailed it in Charlie’s False Friends:

For civil libertarians, it is clear that when leaders insist that they “Stand with Charlie” it does not mean actually standing with free speech. To the contrary, the greatest threat facing free speech today is found in Western governments, which have increasingly criminalized and prosecuted speech, particularly anti-religious speech. Once the defining right of Western Civilization, free speech is dying in the West and few world leaders truly mourn its passing.

Around the world, speech is under attack under an array of hate speech and anti-discrimination laws… The result is a growing, if not insatiable, appetite for speech regulation that only increases after violent responses to controversial publications.

The most recent tragedy in France follows an all too familiar pattern from publication to prosecution. Consider what happened in 2005 with the publication of the Danish cartoons and the global riots leading to the murder of non-Muslims and burning of churches and homes. The West rallied around the right of free speech, but then quietly ramped up prosecutions of speech. It happened again in 2012 when a low-budget trailer of a low-grade movie was put on YouTube. The “Innocence of Muslims” trailer was deemed insulting to Mohammad and Islam and led to another global spasm of murder and arson by irate Muslims. Again, Western leaders professed support for free speech while cracking down further on anti-religious speech. Even in the United States, President Obama insisted that the filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula had every right to make the film. However, the next image that the world saw after that speech was filmmaker being thrown into a police car in handcuffs for technical violations of a probation on unrelated charges..

So much for the background to the event.
And with the art class in full daub, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix arrived by car. They were carrying assault rifles and began shooting at a police car.Garland Independent School District police Officer Bruce Joiner was shot and injured. Very soon, Simpson and Nadir Soofi were then shot dead.

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Posted: 5th, May 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ryanair flight takes of without any toilet paper

ryanair toilet paper

Ryanair says it is “regrettable” that its flight from London Stansted to Murcia in Spain took off without any toilet paper onboard.

There was also no milk for tea or coffee.

Says Ryanair:

“We wished to prioritise an on-time departure for London Stansted rather than wait for these items to be delivered and cause a significant ATC delay for all our customers.”

When you’ve got to go, you’ve to to go…

No, over here with the ‘sick bags’…

Posted: 5th, May 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Watch this rare colour film of Berlin in July 1945

Chronos Media has this footage of Berlin in July, 1945. World War II has ended. Amid the diabolical destruction, retribution, chaos and a free-for-all, life went on.

 

 

 

 

Spotter: Reddit, via Flashbak

Posted: 4th, May 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Maya PlisetskayaI: ‘I would like to talk about Swan Lake and my handsome partners but it all revolves around Stalin’s terror’

Close-Up Of Maya Plisetskaya

Close-Up Of Maya Plisetskaya

 

“I would like to talk about ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Swan Lake,’ about my battements and my handsome partners,” wrote ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, who has died at the age of 89. “But whichever way I look at my childhood, it all revolves around politics and Stalin’s terror.”

Her New York Times’ obituary tells us:

Her father was shot to death in 1938 in Stalin’s purges. (Ms. Plisetskaya learned the date of his death only in 1989.) Her mother was arrested and sent to a labor camp with her infant son, then exiled to Kazakhstan….

Ms. Plisetskaya was… restricted by the Bolshoi’s rigid Soviet guidelines on choreography, which viewed the very movement of dance through the prism of ideology, yet she was able to infuse stultified, literal movements with much deeper meaning….

“I danced all of classical ballet and dreamed of something new,” she said. “In my time, it was impossible.”

 

855342 01.03.1961 Майя Плисецкая в балете на музыку С.Прокофьева "Ромео и Джульетта". Большой театр СССР (ныне Государственный академический театр оперы и балета России). Михаил Озерский/РИА Новости

 

Art matters.

But it was a career that was far from plain sailing. She first sparked scandal in 1967 after a meeting in Moscow with Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso, who, as a citizen of a friendly communist country, was allowed to create for her the Carmen Suite.

“Carmen – where every gesture, every look, every movement had meaning, was different from all other ballets … The Soviet Union was not ready for this sort of choreography,” Plisetskaya said. “It was war, they accused me of betraying classical dance.”

 

Posted: 4th, May 2015 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Funchu Tamang, 101-year-old, pulled from ruins of a collpased house in Nepal

nepal rescue old man

 

Good news of the day features Funchu Tamang, a 101-year-old man rescued from the rubble of his collapsed housein Nepal. Amid the destruction and horror of the earthquake that hit Nepal, Mr Tamang’s rescue seven days later is a ray of hope.

He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

(And for 101, he looks pretty great. Every report says he’s 101, so, he’s 101.)

 

Spotter: The Guardian

Posted: 4th, May 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lord Janner: Scotland in 1972 and company law and not all Jews in the Daily Mail

Daily Express: “Scots police put on spot in Janner probe”

Why?

One of the Labour peer’s alleged victims claims the MP took him on a tour of Scotland in the early 1970s during which he was subjected to serious sexual assaults. He made a report at an Edinburgh police station in 1991 but the Crown Office yesterday confirmed they have never been notified.

Where is this report?

It raises fears that Scottish officers may have been ordered to drop any investigation into the politician, like their counterparts south of the Border.

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Posted: 3rd, May 2015 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Westminster paedos: one complaint exposes Lord Bramall of Bushfield to the media’s ‘witch hunt’

lord bramall

 

Westminster peados: a look at reporting on an alleged cover up of VIP child abuse.

Daily Mirror (page 10): “Retired Field Marshal In Child Sex Quiz”

We meet Field Marshal Lord Bramall of Bushfield. Lord Bramall is 91. He is one of the UK’s highest-ranking veterans. He is Field Marshal Edwin Noel Westby Bramall, Baron Bramall KG, GCB, OBE, MC, JP, DL.

Police probing claims that children were abused by a VIP paedophile ring in the 70s and 80s have quizzed a former head of the British Army. Field Marshal Lord Bramall of Bushfield, 91, was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives as part of Operation Midland.

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


Amazon shoot a massive penis into space

blue origin

 

This is the unmanned Blue Origin suborbital spacecraft, New Shepard, which has soared 307,000 feet into the skies. Blue Origin is part-owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who, to the best of our knowledge, never has been pictured naked.

For more phallic pocket rockets, see Flashbak.

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


Comment is Weird: brilliant Tumblr takes the piss out of Guardian writers

As Xeni Jardin says, “every single one of these is a gem”. Comment Is Weird is a parody of the Guardian’s Comment is Free. Just when you think something is beyond parody, someone goes and proves you wrong…

 

coomment is weird

 

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


A day out in Southend with the skinheads 7th April 1980 (photos)

On 7th April 1980, John Downing photographed skinheads enjoying the bank holiday weekend in Southend, Essex.

Before the phots a short film from 1978 (via the excellent Flashbak):

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


New US drugs czar is a recovering alcoholic

drugs czarThe White House has made Michael Botticelli it’s US Drug Czar. Botticelli is now director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). And the best bit is that he’s recovering alcoholic.

As the New York Times reprots:

Six recovering substance abusers sat in an inner-city treatment center, sharing their stories. When Michael’s turn came around, he spoke of his former drug of choice, alcohol, and mentioned the night years ago when he drove drunk on the Massachusetts Turnpike, caused an accident and was arrested before passing out.

Michael then pulled out a picture of a friend’s brother who recently died from mixing prescription painkillers with alcohol. He described his grief and visceral connection with the struggles of substance abusers in recovery.

“You are my people,” he said, wiping one eye.

Catharsis is common in treatment centers, but Michael is not the typical former substance abuser: He is Michael Botticelli, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, informally known as the drug czar.

Behold the repenting spirit…

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


Lord Janner: the State-serving Goddard inquiry is an affront to justice

inquiry1Lord Janner: a look at reporting on Lord Greville Janner in the media.

The Sun (Page 8): “Paedo probe judge to  check Janner claims”

Claims of his innocence?

No.

There is to be an…inquiry into why Lord Janner was never tried in court. An inquiry is the country’s default position for anything the elite want to moralise on. A “panel” will investigate “whether the 86-year-old Labour peeer was protected by an establishment cover-up”.

This way the elite get to bury the ghosts and no-one gets hurt. It is a State-serving affront to justice.

Daily Express (page 2): “Sex abuse inquiry will review allegations against Lord Janner”

Will it be as big as the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking and tabloid journalism? Will everyone who has ever known or worked with Janner be put on the stand? Will we see all the social workers, police and everyone who worked with Frank Beck, the LibDem councillor and convicted paedophile who ran children’s homes and lived in Braunstone, where Janner is titular Lord? Will it be televised? Will there be dawn raids and mass arrests?

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


Darpa self-steering bullets follow targets round corners

 

“True to Darpa’s mission, Exacto has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-calibre bullet to target,” boats Darpa program manager Jerome Dunn. “This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that Exacto is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds.”

What can go wrong?

Spotter

 

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


Free Speech: The Hoya wants to censor debate on ‘rape culture’

Free Speech is under threat at Georgetown University. The college’s student magazine, The Hoya, wants to no-platform a woman they don’t approve of.

The Georgetown University College Republicans hosted Christina Hoff Sommers, an author and philosophy professor known for her criticism of contemporary feminism and her disavowal of a so-called “rape myth,” last week.

By giving Sommers a platform, GUCR has knowingly endorsed a harmful conversation on the serious topic of sexual assault.

Giving voice to someone who argues that statistics on sexual assault exaggerate the problem and condemns reputable studies for engaging in “statistical hijinks” serves only to trigger obstructive dialogue and impede the progress of the university’s commitment to providing increased resources to survivors.

Arguing the statistics will not be tolerated! Surely, the students are sure-footed enough to be able to counter any naysayers? Demanding Sommers be made to shut up is lamentably weak.

The Hoya’s editorial board continues:

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Posted: 29th, April 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: back on the front pages, libel and Goncalo Amaral is ruined

Madeleine McCann’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann have won £357,000 (Daily Telegraph) after successfully suing ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral. The former Portuguese policeman suggested in his book The Truth Of The Lie that the couple had faked their daughter’s abduction. That view was defamatory.

The McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, says:

“It was entirely focused on the effect of the libels on our other children and the damage that was done to the search for Madeleine.”

The BBC:

The McCanns, from Rothley in Leicestershire, said the claims exacerbated their anguish and discouraged people from coming forward with information after Madeleine disappeared… Mr Amaral, who initially headed the inquiry into Madeleine’s disappearance, was taken off the case in October 2007…. His book, published in 2008, has been a bestseller in Portugal.

The McCanns were originally seeking 1.25m euros (almost £900,000) in damages from Mr Amaral, his publisher and a company that produced a documentary based on his book. In a written verdict, a court in the Portugeuse capital Lisbon ruled Mr Amaral should pay Mr and Mrs McCann 250,000 euros each in damages, plus interest in excess of 100,000 euros (£71,500).

The court also barred Mr Amaral and his publisher from selling the book or issuing further editions. It also barred the producer of the film from selling the rights to broadcast or distribute it.

Sky:

A former Portuguese detective has been ordered to pay 606,000 euros (£433,000) to the parents of missing Madeleine McCann as their two-year libel trial comes to an end…

A civil court in Lisbon ruled against Mr Amaral, and ordered him to pay 500,000 euros (£357,000) in damages and 106,000 euros (£76,000) in interest to the McCanns.

The Guardian:

In a lengthy ruling on Tuesday, Amaral was found guilty of libelling the pair and ordered to pay them €250,000 (£179,170) each in damages, plus €106,000 (£76,000) in interest. The judge also banned further sale of his book, the Truth of the Lie.

The ruling comes days before the eighth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance on Sunday. She vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the evening of Thursday 3 May 2007, triggering the biggest missing persons investigation for decades.

Such are the facts…

 

Mccann amaral libel

 

Screen shot 2015-04-28 at 21.53.13

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


Marijuana: Jack’s Amendment, Carly’s Law and Mary Ann Coleman’s fight for a drug that works

Would you give medial marijuana to your ill child if you thought it would help them? In Alabama, Mark Coleman wants to use marijuana to treat his 13-year-old daughter, Mary Ann Coleman. She has low-functioning autism.

Al.com reports:

Monday wasn’t a very good day for 13-year-old Mary Ann Coleman… The report sent home from Glenwood Autism & Behavioral Health Center where Mary Ann attends day school shows she tried to hurt herself 337 times Monday while at school or riding the bus, her father Mark Coleman said. That number has been as high as 800; a typical day though is about 40.

“(Mary Ann) scratches herself to the point where she bleeds,” he said. “She hits herself upside the ear. She pulls her hair out. She slams her head into the wall …. She has gone through my bay window. She had gone through two windows at school.”

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Posted: 28th, April 2015 | In: marijuana, News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lord Janner: When Frank Beck worked for MI6 and children were bathed like dogs

Daily Mirror, 3rd December 1991

Daily Mirror, 3rd December 1991

 

Lord Janner is still in the news. The Labour peer, who won’t face the court for alleged child abuse because his dementia makes him unfit for trial, remains in the media’s crosshairs…

Today’s news round-up:

The Daily Mail: “Home Office chiefs ignored FOURTH warning on Janner: Officials were told of child sex claims in 1995 report”

This goes to the top. Who warned them? What did they warn about?

The Home Office was warned that Lord Janner was abusing young boys two decades ago but did nothing about it.

What should it have done? Surely the Home Office can only act if there is evidence…

An MP passed a dossier of information to the department in the hope it would kick-start a fresh police investigation. But instead the paperwork was shelved by officials until it was discovered in 2013 and belatedly passed to Leicestershire Police.

Which officials? Why didn’t the MP make copies and send them to the Press? As ever, we just get more questions in place of facts. It all stinks. But what’s making the smell?

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


Obituary of the day: Richard West’s mysterious journey to Singapore

richard westRichard West’s obituary contains a truly brilliant anecdote.

Years later he went on a bender in Saigon and woke up the next day in a ditch outside a tropical city. Only when he had walked some way into it did he discover on inquiry that the city was Singapore. How he had got there was never explained.

Richard West, born July 18 1930, died April 25 2015.

 

Posted: 27th, April 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jim Wells’ gay comments are none of the police’s business

Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells has resigned? Why? Well, there was that comment her made, the one about gays and paedos:

“You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected….”

Ignorant balls, of course. But that’s not why Mr Wells has resigned. As he says:

“As many people are aware I have been focused on helping my wife during her fight for life. Those who know my family and I, know the last three months have been the toughest of our lives as we watched my wife, Grace, suffer two successive strokes and battle through major heart surgery. However, as she now faces further challenges I have come to the point where I am no longer able to continue my ministerial duties and give Grace the attention she deserves.”

Fair enough. But about his words linking child abuse and being gay… Well, on that he says:

“I accept that one line of what I said caused offence and deep concern. I regret having wrongly made that remark about abuse and I’m sorry those words were uttered. The comment did not reflect my view nor that of my party.”

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Posted: 27th, April 2015 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lord Janner: Liberal Democrat councillor Frank Beck and police sirens

janner

 

Lord Janner: a look at reporting on the allegations of a Westminster peadophile cover-up.

The Daily Mail (page 10): “Janner’s thak you note to detective who was forced to drop case by bosses”

We hear from retired detective Kelvyn Ashby.

The policeman who led the original investigation into Janner in the early 1990s spoke yesterday of how he was ‘gutted’ after orders to drop the case came ‘from the very top’.

That’s 14 or 15 years of being “gutted”.

Retired Detective Inspector Kelvyn Ashby, of Leicestershire Police, said his team uncovered evidence supporting allegations that the then-Leicester MP used his home and a hotel to abuse a teenage boy. He said he and fellow investigator Mick Creedon, now Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police, were prevented from arresting Janner.

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Posted: 27th, April 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0