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Professional to-deadline dimwit Joey Essex is dating Charlotte Stuchfield. He had been romancing air hostesses Bethany Hitch but, as the Sun reports, tired of her “always being in the sky”. A source is quoted: “It was tough maintaining a relationship with an air stewardess. At least Charlotte only lives up the road.”
But where the Sun does it with humour – Joey, mate, Hitch doesn’t live in the sky, footballers don’t live on the pitch and waiters don’t live in McDonald’s – the Mail goes on the attack. In place of actual knowledge about Miss Stuchfield (the Mirror calls her a “mystery brunette”), the Mail produces three photos of the couple leaving an London eatery and news that the Essex’s latest flame “flashed her sideboob in a knitted top which gaped at the sides”.
Charleston newspaper the day after the church massacre:
Dylann Storm Roof has been arrested and charged with the murders of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church. A witness claims Roof told his victims: “I have to do it…You rape our women and you’re taking over the country.” He spared one woman‘s life “so she could tell the world what happened.” The 21-year-old had a previous arrest for possessing drugs.
There will be no branch of the Hooters boobs ‘n’ vests eatery in Newcastle. Hooters was not granted a licence. The Chronicle notes:
Mark James is the general manager of Hooters in the UK and thought the chain would’ve added to Newcastle’s character.
Indeed, it would have radically altered the city’s reputation for year-round topless entertainment.
Mo Farah, hero of the London 2012 Olympics, has expressed shock at allegations his coach Alberto Salazar violated anti-doping regulations. “I haven’t done anything, but my name is getting dragged through the mud,” says Farah.
There is no suggestion Farah has done anything outside the rules. And Salazar maintains his innocence. But, hey, who expects a cheat to confess – they only do that in the face of proven guilt and when trying to get back in the game?
Against this backdrop of popular suspicion that ‘they’ are all on something – and if they are, then so what if the winner cheats? – the Daily Mail drops a shoe:
Mo Farah missed two drug tests before London Olympics, putting 2012 double gold at risk Farah’s first missed test appears to have occurred in early 2010, six months before he broke David Moorcroft’s British 5,000m record. The second test seems to have occurred once Farah had started working with Salazar, taking place at Farah’s home in Teddington. Farah contested it by appealing to the UK Anti-Doping Agency on the basis that he claimed he did not hear his doorbell
The Mail says that an athlete who misses three tests in any 12-month period (down from 18 months since 2013) can face up to a four-year ban. But Farah did not miss three tests. He missed two.
Farah has not cheated. But he is trapped in the prevailing culture where everyone is guilty til proven innocent:
Kjetil Haugen7 investigated the suggestion that athletes face a kind of prisoner’s dilemma regarding drugs. His game theoretic model shows that, unless the likelihood of athletes being caught doping was raised to unrealistically high levels, or the payoffs for winning were reduced to unrealistically low levels, athletes could all be predicted to cheat. The current situation for athletes ensures that this is likely, even though they are worse off as a whole if everyone takes drugs, than if nobody takes drugs.
And, in any case, who says what is and what is not cheating?
Professor Julian Savulescu points to the use of caffeine and other substances that are shown to improve cycling performance yet are still allowed and even welcomed in competition.
“Today athletes take caffeine, which is unnatural to enhance performance — nobody thinks that’s somehow corrupting of the spirit of sport. Yet it was banned [ed. up until 2004] and it enhances performance — it increases the time to exhaustion by about 10%. Beetroot extract can also increase the time to exhaustion by up to 20% in some trials. These examples show that it’s not performance enhancement per se that’s the problem.”
“By allowing some physiological performance enhancement you enable honest athletes who don’t want to harm themselves, to increase their performance to some degree. So the people that are cheating are going to be getting less of an advantage than they are now.
“So you’re reducing the unfairness of the situation by creating what you might call a ‘white market’ for physiological enhancement which competes with a ‘black market’ for non-physiological enhancement.”
I’d allow athletes take anything so long as it doesn’t cause them to fall down dead. Carefully managed science should be permitted. The case of Mo Farah highlights the system’s failings. It’s time to change the system.
Is that Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling inhaling nitrous oxide – always billed in the newspapers as ‘hippy crack’ – on a boat in Ibiza? The Sun’s Chris Pollard says it is:
FOOTBALL star Raheem Sterling has been caught sucking from a balloon — just weeks after The Sun exposed him inhaling laughing gas… on Tuesday he was videoed with the stem of an inflated pink balloon between his lips.
Nine people have been murdered in an attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, North Carolina. The talk is of a hate crime. The alleged killer is white. The victims are black.
“The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is out of hate,” says Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.
Greg Mullen, the Charleston police chief sticks to the facts:
“It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church when people are having a prayer meeting and take their lives. There were eight deceased individuals inside of the church. Two individuals were transported to (the hospital). One of them has died. At this point, we have nine victims in this hideous crime that has been committed.”
Charleston police tweeted:
“Suspect in shooting on Calhoun St is a w/m approx 21 slender small build wearing a grey sweat shirt blue jeans timberland boots clean shaven.”
Thomas Dixon tells Fox News:
“Apparently the person just entered the church and opened fire. That part has not been fully articulated on what happened yet … they are still looking for the suspect.”
Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Governor, adds:
“While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.”
One chap thinks he’s seen the shooter:
Would the police move him like that? Surely not.
The New York Times‘ story on the five Irish students killed when a balcony collapsed at Berkeley included the news that the J1 work-visa program was “a source of embarrassment for Ireland, marked by a series of high-profile episodes involving drunken partying and the wrecking of apartments in places like San Francisco and Santa Barbara.”
The fourth-floor balcony was mostly decorative, says a member of the Berkeley Design Review Committee that approved the building in 2001. You want to apportion blame? Look beyond the victims (Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eimear Walsh, all aged 21, were Irish. The sixth victim, Ashley Donohue, 22, was from California).
Ireland’s Minister of Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin replied:
“Your newspaper’s reporting of the Berkeley tragedy is a disgrace.”
Rachel Dolezal appeared in a sex tape. The Daily Mail says her then husband, African-American (surely gay, one-legged Jew?- ed) Kevin Moore, encouraged her to perform “sex acts” for the camera.
But how can you find the thing? Our resident porn expert says he looked in the inter-racial section and the black-on-black section but found nothing.
As he searches for teh porno tapes that defies and compleis with all categoties of kink, we note that Rachel and Kevin couple married in 2000 and divorced in 2005. She made her claims that he forced her into the sex tape at their divorce hearing. He denies the claims.
The couple shared custody of their son Franklin – who until a few days ago was black and is now mixed-race.
Now about that tape? Is that Rachel in the Reincarnated Slaves & Masters section?
To Florida, where Ashley Miller, 18, has been arrested for allegedly having sex with her pit bull dog.
Police says Miller kept photos of the trysts on her cell phone. Police found 17 photos of a “canine performing oral sex on an unknown white female”. Miller admited is was she and the dog was her female pit bull called 2-face.
Miller added that another dog named Scarface had also licked her vagina.
Milelr will now face the music.
Flooding in Georgia has led to a white tiger escaped from Tbilisi Zoo mauling a man to death in Heroes Square. The Sun reports:
A STARVING tiger has mauled a man to death after escaping from a zoo in floods. The ravenous predator killed the warehouse worker in Heroes Square in the centre of Tbilisi, Georgia, according to local officials.
News that the tiger was hungry seems designed to make us sympathise with the beast, rather than the fallen human hero, who was killed.
Special forces captured the white tiger before shooting it dead.
Trigger Warning: free speech is being attacked and downgraded in Anglo-American culture, says Mick Hume
Anorak asked journalist Mick Hume about his new book, which looks at the highly topical issue of free speech…
Your new book is entitled ‘Trigger Warning’. For those not familiar with the phrase, could you explain its origin and its relevance?
A ‘trigger warning’ is a statement stuck at the beginning of a piece of writing, video or whatever to alert you to the fact that it contains material you may find upsetting or offensive. For example, ‘TW: Islamophobic language’, or ‘TW: references to sexual violence’.
Trigger Warnings took off in US colleges (where student activists want classic works to carry them, suggesting for example that The Great Gatsby should have one along the lines of ‘TW: suicide, domestic abuse and graphic violence’). They have since spread across the Atlantic and the internet. If you are not familiar with ‘TWs’, they are coming soon to a website near you.
For me the mission creep of trigger warnings symbolises the stultifying atmosphere surrounding freedom of expression and debate today. They are like those ‘Here be dragons’ signs on uncharted areas of old maps, warning students and others not to take a risk, not to step off the edge of their comfort zone, not to expose themselves to ‘uncomfortable’ ideas, images or opinions.
What is the book about?
The sub-title of the book rather gives the game away: ‘Is the fear of being offensive killing free speech?’ To which its unsurprising answer is yes, unless we do something about it.
Trigger Warning is about all the various ways in which free speech is being attacked and downgraded in Anglo-American culture today. It describes ‘the silent war on free speech’. It’s a silent war because nobody in politics or public life admits that they are against freedom of expression; all of them will make ritualistic displays of support for it ‘in principle’, as they did after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. In practice, however, they are all seeking ways to restrict freedom of expression, whilst insisting that ‘this is not a free speech issue’, it is merely an attempt to protect the ‘vulnerable’ against offensive and hateful words.
To that end, the book examines the complementary trends towards official censorship, unofficial censorship and self-censorship in the West today, covering everything from online ‘trolls’ to football and comedy as well as more conventional political issues.
Of these three, the most insidious is the informal, unofficial censorship promoted by Twitter mobs and assorted boycott-and-ban-happy zealots. They are a relatively small minority, but they exercise disproportionate influence by preying on the loss of faith in free speech at the top of our societies.
I describe these people as ‘reverse-Voltaires’, who have taken the famous principle linked to Voltaire – ‘I may hate what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’ – and twisted it into its opposite – ‘I know I will detest what you say, and I will defend to the end of free speech my right to stop you saying it’. They do not want to debate arguments they disagree with, but merely to close them down as offensive. Trigger Warning takes on their most powerful excuses in a section entitled ‘Five good reasons for restricting free speech – and why they’re all wrong’.
What is the main message of the book?
The main message of the book – and I fear it is a ‘message’ book, or ‘polemic’ as we pretentious authors say – is twofold, I suppose. That we have forgotten how important the fight for free speech has been in the creation of something approximating a civilised society, and that we are in danger of giving it up without a struggle. It is not so much that we are losing the free speech wars: we are not even fighting them!
Few of the great advances in politics, science and culture over the past 500 years would have been possible without the expansion of free speech and the willingness of heroic heretics to question everything and break taboos. None of the liberation movements of the recent past could have succeeded without putting the right to free speech at the forefront of their campaigns (which makes it all the more bitterly ironic to see restrictions on free speech being demanded today in the name of protecting the oppressed).
Free speech was never a right to be won once and then put on a shelf to be admired. It always has to be defended again, against new challenges and enemies. The big danger today is that so few are standing up for unfettered free speech against the reverse-Voltaires and their like. Where are the young Tom Paines, JS Mills, John Wilkes’ or George Orwells of our age? Instead we have characters like the US liberal professor who just wrote a (pseudonymous) article about how he is too ‘terrified’ of his ‘liberal’ students to raise a potentially offensive idea or even ask them to read Mark Twain. Time to take a stand before it’s too late.
You have been outspoken about the right to offend. But some people seem to believe they have a duty to offend, and we have seen public examples of this recently. How does your opinion differ from theirs?
I have been writing about the right to be offensive for some 25 years, since the crisis over Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. It is the cutting edge of free speech. After all, what use is it is we are only ‘free’ to say what everybody else might like? If we defend free speech for those views branded extreme and offensive, the mainstream will look after itself. This is not about offensive language, but opinions – as JS Mill pointed out long ago, the more powerful your opponent’s arguments are, the more offensive you tend to find them!
The importance of that issue was brought into sharp focus by the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre of course. As the book describes, behind the apparent displays of Je Suis Charlie solidarity, the powerful message was that those cartoonists had gone ‘too far’ in offending Islam. Those gunmen might have been inspired by Islamist preachers, but they can only have been encouraged by the loss of faith in free speech at the heart of Western culture.
None of this means, as you mention, that anybody has a duty to offend. The right to be offensive is not an obligation. One problem today is that the response to the conformist culture of You-Can’t-Say-That tends to be a few comedians and others trying to cause offence for the sake of it. That’s infantile and useless. As William Hazlitt wrote, ‘An honest man speaks the truth, though it may cause offence, a vain man, in order that it may”. A good distinction, so long as we remember that the vain man gets the freedom to speak his version of the truth, too.
Trigger Warning: Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech? is published by Collins.
Mick was answering questions put to him by Ed Barrett
Matthew Dick asked Delyth Hughes to marry him via clues in The Times’ cryptic teaser crossworld puzzle. Puzzle editor Richard Rogan added the vital clues:
6 letters: “Pretty Welsh girl widely thought not to be all there”
8 letters: “‘Will you marry me’, say, that’s forward also rude!”
Ms Hughes solved the puzzle, presented to her by Mr Dick.
Had she not have done, it’s tempting to think of crossword Mr Dick counting his blessings and of Ms Hughes preferring the less abstractive world of World Search puzzles.
The Guardian is shocked that privately educated pupils get on better in life. In a piece entitled “How to pass the posh test: ‘Do you know Marmaduke Von Snittlebert?’”, five journalists work on a story that “employers still favour the privately educated elite over the rest of us”.
We need an all-out war on the problem, argues Owen Jones, while other writers weigh up the pros and cons of trying to pass for posh
Owen Jones talks about “the posh problem”:
Unless you’re a Social Darwinist who believes the privileged are inherently more talented (I’m going to presume you’re not), then the lack of diversity at the top of society should be profoundly depressing. More than half of the top 100 media professionals in Britain hail from private schools, even though only 7% of Britons are privately educated. Amongst court judges, the figure surges to 71%; in the senior armed forces it approaches two thirds.
Not so much an establishment as a racket.
Facts soon make way for opinion. And one is about journalism:
There’s structural inequality, and then there are stitch-ups. The scourge of unpaid internships has helped turn professions (such as my own, the media) into playgrounds for the privileged. Want to become a journalist? You may well find yourself expected to work for free for months, or longer, with no promise of a job at the end of it.
This is a Guardian writer complaining about nepotism in journalism. Ha. Ha.
Apple is alucning a new music streaming service. And it’s an utter rip off:
Apple is accused of attempting to launch its new Spotify rival, Apple Music, in a way that would leave Britain’s independent record labels “completely screwed” and struggling to survive. The Silicon Valley giant is demanding that record labels such as XL Recordings, the home of Adele, and Domino, the label behind the Arctic Monkeys, agree to a free three-month trial of Apple Music, during which they will receive no payment.
Free tials are great. But why should the service provider pay? Wonder if any Apple’s contract contains a clause stating that unless the record label members to ask for actual money for its service, Apple will continue to provide it for free?
The Sun is copying the Daily Mail’s habit of being shocked and amazed that famous faces have gotten older. Today, the Sun’s Dan Wootton brings us “Careless Wispa – EXCLUSIVE: Fears for ‘bloated’ George Michael as he piles on 3st”.
This is Wootton who launched his ‘No More Skinny’ campaign in the Sun, calling on fatter models and the end to the skinny obsession “madness” that does “so much damage to our body-conscious youngsters”.
Today Wootton says an “onlooker” spotted “BLOATED George Michael” at an exhibition of British pop artist Allen Jones at Zurich’s Baur au Lac hotel.
The witness says:
“He attended as it started to get dark. It was clearly George, but it was pretty shocking to see how he looked.”
No. It wasn’t. He’s 51. He looks pretty good, especially for a man so grotesque he goes out only under cover of darkness:
To further prove just how horrible George looks, Wootton invites readers to compare the singer now with how he looked in 1983.
Wow, indeed, Dan. Singer gets older. Read all about it!
Her Majesty The Queen’s footmen have no time for tourists.
This video is a warning to all jihadis and other enemies of the British state: dress in check, beige and carry a large camera and you are toast.
Anorak humbly invites the Queen’s Guard to travel by Tube. Backpackers, you have been warned – especialy those of you with Canadian maple leaf flags stitched onto your massive canvas shells. Sure, you’re not American, but you gave us Justin Bieber and that’s more than enough.
Lord Jesus Christ, 55 has been at a home in Belchertown, Massachusetts, on a charge of violating a restraining order.
He was not taken away restrained to a cross.
Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck is guilty of fourth degree rape.
In 2014, Shattuck, then married to Constellation Energy CEO Mayo Shattuck, “spotted” a 15-year-old on Instagram. After a few meetings, 48-year-old Stattuck drove the boy to a residence in Delaware, plied him with booze and gave him a blow job.
For that she faces 15 years in chokey.
(For that Instagram becomes very popular with 15-year-old boys.)
PS: In 2012, she shared her tips for healthy living:
“What’s the secret? I tell people you have to be well hydrated—I don’t drink coffee, tea, or soda,” she says. “You have to move your body every day and eat right, but deprivation is not realistic. You have to have a balance of vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates.”
Spotter: Baltimore Sun
Do you know an yone who takes a daily dose of 10 to 15 micrograms of LSD? People do. One user says taking it will “increase my focus, open my heart, and achieve breakthrough results while remaining integrated within my routine.”
One 65-year-old Sonoma County, California … told AlterNet she microdosed because it made her feel better and more effective.
“I started doing it in 1980, when I lived in San Francisco and one of my roommates had some mushrooms in the fridge,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. “I just took a tiny sliver and found that it made me alert and energized all day. I wasn’t high or anything; it was more like having a coffee buzz that lasted all day long.”
This woman gave up on microdosing when her roommate’s supply of ‘shrooms ran out, but she has taken it up again recently.
“I’m very busy these days and I’m 65, so I get tired, and maybe just a little bit surly sometimes,” she admitted. “So when a friend brought over some chocolate mushrooms, I decided to try it again. It makes my days so much better! My mood improves, my energy level is up, and I feel like my synapses are really popping. I get things done, and I don’t notice any side-effects whatsoever.”
What the harm, then?
Rachel Dolezal is the white woman who pretended to be black. Dolezal, 37, has quit her role in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
She said her dad is black. He isn’t. At least he thinks he isn’t. He says his spray-tanned, Afro-wigged daughter needs help.
The New York Times says “Faking a racial history, in either direction, raises difficult questions about what race is and why it matters,”
Dolezal’s a liar. She deceived people. She told people her parents in South Africa whipped her with a device “pretty similar to what was used as whips during slavery”. Her parents live in Montana. They’ve never been to South Africa. She lists the alleged hate crimes she has been subjected to as if stamping rites of passage and authenticity on her bones.
Rachel Dolezal has survived many ordeals. She is a victim. She is a martyr. She thought that to really get ahead you need to be disadvantaged.
Rachel Dolezal is a liar. She wanted her ‘white guilt’ assuaged by her adopted group. And – maybe – that’s the one decent lesson from all this: only looking at a person’s racial identity makes fools of us all.
The Handmade Burger Company restaurant in Union Square, Aberdeen, regrets that diner Gordie Wallace was damaged by the automatic hand dryer that fire up when he ws in mid-flow.
The 31-year-old Glaswegian says:
“After enjoying a meal with the misses I took a trip to the little boys room to empty my rather full bladder… Due to the poor design of your bathrooms and unfortunate placing of the automatic hand dryer, half way during my urination the hand dryer decided to go on full pelt thus blowing my pish stream all over the place, nearly all over my trousers and sadly leaving me with a soggy trainer on my left foot. I’m now going to be forced to throw out my sodden sock, walk about with a pishy foot and now believe I have developed a phobia of hand dryers.”
The Handmade Burger Company offered a year’s supply of fresh socks by way of compensation:
“We’re really sorry to hear about your experience in our Union Square restaurant. This is the first time that this has happened in the five years that we have been open. We’d like to send you a pair of trainers and a supply of socks every month for a year to compensate.”
Motto: the sink, men. Use the sink.
With Botox, you too can smoke less. Kelly Greenwood, of Vancouver, Washington, says:
“My upper lip is paralysed by the injections so I can’t close my lips around a cigarette, There’s no pucker. I’m down to about 10 a month. And that’s quite an accomplishment for me.”
It’s also believed Kelly has also cut down on eating bananas, giving full throat to both ‘Oklahoma‘ and her husband, and drink driving tests:
Tara Shultz, 20, of Yucaipa, CA, wants to censor your library. She wants four graphic novels on the syllabus at Crafton Hills College banned. Why? Because Schulz thinks Persepolis, Fun Home, Y: The Last Man Vol. 1, and The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House will warp minds.
Now stand back and watch sales of thsoe titles rocket.
Schulz tells the Redland Daily Facts Newspaper – and this is phrase all anti-censors should get on a T-shirt.
“I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.”
Says Tara Shultz: