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The Times stands accused of trolling Twitter by voting Ukip leader Nigel Farage it’s Briton of the Year:
The year 2014 may turn out to be Ukip’s high point. As the general election approaches, surging support for the Scottish nationalists could elbow Mr Farage from the limelight. After the election he may decide to spend more time with his cigarettes and pints. For the moment, however, no one did more to shape British politics in 2014. For good and ill he is therefore The Times Briton of the Year.
The twitter hunt goes into full cry. One tweeter, a James Rhodes, grandstands his outrage by cancelling his subscription to the Times:
He reproduces his letter for everyone to marvel at:
Matthew Parris writes about this timid, illiberal, censorious outrage in the Times:
…as we head for a new year, the social media and the news media are blurring together, and in an election campaign the blurring will worsen as politicians clamber over each other to show their umbilical link to public feeling. We’ll be in a chamber of echoes where instant reaction and unthinking response amplify each other into a kind of pitiless roar.
If we in “traditional” politics and “traditional” print and broadcast journalism are not to be swept onward by the virtual mob, we need to review our relationship with the new media. We should stop thinking of social media as an extension of our own work, a reliable generator of good stories, a professional tool. Facebook, the Twittersphere and the world of blogging are not informal journalism. They are the 18th-century mob in 21st-century clothes…
For millennia we’ve been able to duck the possibility of putting the masses in the driving seat because there was no practical way we could. The limits of communications technology made a breakwater against waves of mob sentiment. But think what a difference Twitter (for instance) now makes. Within hours we can know not only the news but what everyone is thinking about the news. Within hours the mob can work itself into rage, certainty or fear, egged on by the news that everyone else thinks so too. Virtual referendums on matters large or small are instant.
We needn’t wait five years to tell our politicians what to do: we can tell them before lunch. If we’d had the social media in the 20th century we’d have brought back hanging: one grisly murder would have sufficed…
As a proud member of the liberal metropolitan elite, I don’t believe in democracy unlimited. Democracy needs restraints, baffles and pauses for thought. The news needs authority. It’s time for those who prioritise news, and time for those who shape policy, to step back, take a cold look at what the virtual mob might mean for public affairs, and ask ourselves whether we want to be part of the epidemic, or part of the vaccine.
And if that were not enough, the police are inviting the Twitter mob to become their narks. And this censorious, reactionary, fearful, narrow-minded mob are happy to play along:
We need a free media. Without it we get only the mob…
Beer drinkers, some good news.
Oh, dear. Can we get a second opinion?
Well, so says the Daily Mail.
But at least with beer you can best understand the risks:
“New research has shown that a chemical compound in beer may be able to improve cognitive function. The beverage once thought to obliterate brain cells when consumed in abundance may actually have the opposite effect and boost brain power.”
The Welsh are rarely mistaken:
Ashe Schow looks at the camp0us sexual assault that got everyone talking:
The story did not turn out to be as advertised. Jackie, who told Rolling Stone she had a date the night she was allegedly gang raped, made up the story about the man who supposedly took her to the frat party — even creating fake cellphone numbers and sending her friends pictures of an old high school classmate, according to three friends who said they rushed to her aid the night of the alleged attack. That night, her friends recalled, Jackie said she had been forced to perform oral sex on a group of five men. By the time the story made it into Rolling Stone, she claimed she had been gang-raped by seven men.
Activists quickly tried to shift the narrative, claiming that the accuracy of Jackie’s story didn’t matter and that sexual assault really was as big a problem as they insisted. Anyone who disagreed was called a “rape apologist.”
Then came another blow: The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report showing that one in 41 women were raped or sexually assaulted while attending college, not one in five. Everyone agrees that one is too many, but some also believe that one false accusation is too many as well. Others do not, claiming that false accusations are rare (based on decades old studies or anecdotes that don’t take into account what is now being considered sexual assault). The implication being that the falsely accused don’t matter.
So, what does this mean for 2015? Next year the focus probably will continue to be on due process rights for the accused, especially given the growing number of lawsuits against universities by accused students that could move forward or be settled. And with more people realizing just how damaging the responses have been to the mythical statistic that 20 percent of women will be raped during their college years, policies may change.
Truth is the first victim of an agenda…
“The Rolling Stone account of a horrific fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia, which many advocates saw as a possible ‘tipping point’—a shocking wake-up call demonstrating that even the most brutal sexual assaults on our college campuses are tacitly tolerated—has unraveled to the point where only a true believer would object to calling it a rape hoax. . . . It also looks like Jackie made up both ‘Haven’ and the sexual assault he supposedly engineered in an attempt to get the romantic attention of Ryan Duffin, one of the friends she called for help that night. Tellingly, her lawyer has not commented on these revelations…
So. It was a man’s fault…
Westminster Paedophiles: Charles Napier, Peter Righton and how a convicted child abuser got work with the British Council
Did you know that a paedophile whosexually abused young boys has links to the Tory Party? The Times begins its news of Charles Napier, a 67-year-old pervert:
The half-brother of a Conservative MP has been jailed for 13 years for carrying out hundreds of sexual assaults on young boys at a school where he taught.
When ‘Rapier Napier’ was scheduled to stand trial for his crimes against children, the Times made the link to Tories still more overt:
Half-brother of MP on sex abuse charge
That was the headline. The story began:
The half-brother of a senior Conservative backbencher was charged yesterday with a child sex offence as part of a Scotland Yard investigation into historical abuse allegations. Charles Napier, 67, who is related to the Tory MP John Whittingdale…
Mr Napier lives with Mr Whittingdale’s mother in Sherborne, Dorset, where he is known for directing amateur dramatics productions.
That story mentioned Napier 5 times and Mr Whittingdale four times.
The Indy also leads with the political angle:
Tory MP’s half-brother Charles Napier sentenced to 13 years over ‘prolific’ child sex abuse
What of Napier’s life a teacher at a Dorset prep school? That might have been the story’s main thrust in less conspiracy-hunting times.
In 1996, the Times reported on Napier and Peter Righton:
Bit harsh on the innocent MP, no, to share not only top billing but the story’s substance with a predatory paedophile?
In 1992, the Sun wrote of Righton:
In 1998, Nick Davies talked of a network of child rapists in schools:
Often the links between abusers lie beneath the surface of less horrific conspiracies. Take, for example, the case of Greystone Heath, an approved school for boys in Warrington, which for years enjoyed an unsullied reputation until police finally discovered that it had become a hot spot for paedophiles.
It appears to have started in 1965 when a 21-year-old student teacher named Keith Laverack went to work there. Over the ensuing four years, he raped at least 16 boys, three of whom he shared with his colleague, Brian Percival, the clerk and storeman at the home. Once these two men had established sexual rights over the boys at Greystone, other abusers joined the staff: Alan Langshaw, who raped at least 24 boys; Dennis Grain who raped at least 18; Roy Shuttleworth who raped at least 10; Jack Bennett who indecently assaulted two; and Steve Norris who assaulted an unknown number.
The Greystone abusers then fanned out. Keith Laverack went to childrens’ homes in Cambridgeshire; Alan Langshaw became Principal of St Vincent’s Catholic boys’ home in Formby; Grain and Shuttleworth were both promoted to other homes in the Warrington area; Steve Norris went to North Wales. At their new homes, all of them continued to rape boys who were in their care and wherever they went, they crossed the paths of other paedophiles.
In Cambridgeshire, Keith Laverack worked with numerous colleagues, four of whom are now also suspected of abusing children. Dennis Grain worked in Doncaster for the same group of private schools as Terence Hoskins who went on to become headteacher of St Aiden’s Community Home in Widnes, where he liked to thrash naked boys with a cane, which he then pushed into their backsides, while his housemaster, Colin Dick, indecently assaulted those who caught his eye. Dennis Grain had previously attacked boys in Danesford childrens’ home in Congleton, opening the door to three others, John Clarke, Joseph Smith and Brian Hudson, who set about the boys with relish. Dennis Grain, in the meantime, went off to work at Eton, where he became a housemaster. The web is almost endless.
A ring of paedophiles? How did Napier find work as a teacher with the British Council after his conviction for abusing underage boys? Were the British exporting paedos, as the Catholic Church once relocated wayward priests to remote areas? Did the Swedes know the man in theor country was a paedophile? Did they know and not mind?
One other interesting fact in the Times report is this:
Napier, who is a former treasurer of the Paedophile Information Exchange, told one victim: “Don’t be a baby.” Another later attempted suicide.
Leading light of the 1970s groups that lobbied for legal sex with children four-years-old and above- and why four years old: is it the conversation the child rapists like? – is a child abuser. What are the odds?
The Indy adds:
He became a senior figure in PIE after leaving the school and had links with Peter Righton, a former social worker and notorious paedophile, whose home was raided in 1992. The raid revealed hardcore child abuse images and years of correspondence between paedophiles around the world. The inquiry led to a flat where Napier boasted he had access to young boys while he worked for the British Council in Cairo.
A former child protection worker, Peter McKelvie, passed details of the Righton files to Mr Watson, which led to his statement in parliament. The files included claims that a high-level group of paedophiles were involved in the abuse of children at the Elm Guest House, a well-known meeting place for gay men, in south-west London.
So. We should thank Watson for exposing Napier?
Napier, of Sherborne, Dorset, had been convicted twice before for abuse against boys but on the first occasion was given a probation order. In the second case he was jailed for nine months in 1995. He also admitted yesterday two other separate allegations of indecent assault against two 13-year-old boys after he left the school.
Not quite. Napier was a known paedophile.
In 1994, Napier appealed his convction:
On 14th August 1995 at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court, the applicant was convicted on two counts of indecent assault upon a male person, and was sentenced to 9 months’ imprisonment concurrent on each.
His application for leave to appeal against that conviction has been referred to the Full Court by the learned Single Judge.
The principal ground of proposed appeal centres around a television programme which was made on the subject of paedophiles in general, and a man called Righton in particular, sometime before the trial of the applicant. It is necessary to set out the dates in some detail. At some stage, we are not told exactly when, but it is in all probability in 1994, the police raided the house of Righton, and they discovered a whole lot of photographs of naked boys, together with letters written by the applicant, which indicated that he too shared Righton’s proclivities and therefore he came under suspicion. At about the same time a documentary was being made by the BBC on the subject of Righton and child abuse, called “Children at Risk”.
The complainant in the applicant’s case, whom we shall refer to as D, made a statement under the Criminal Justice Act implicating the applicant in March 1994. The film was shown on relatively prime time at 8.00 p.m. on 1st June 1994, but it was not until 10th January 1995 that the applicant was arrested and, as already stated, his trial took place in August.
Napier said this made his trial prejudiced. He lost.
Leading social worker Righton was only arrested once:
Mail on Sunday, 27 January 2007
By Eileen Fairweather
When the Archbishop of Canterbury supported the Catholic Church in the gay adoption row last week, many were surprised.
Dr Rowan Williams, usually considered a moderniser, was criticised by liberals for asking Tony Blair to exempt Catholic adoption agencies from Government regulations – being introduced in April – which will force all agencies to offer children for adoption to gays.
The Guardian newspaper, in a comment piece, even suggested that the church’s moral authority was ‘fatally compromised’.
Now it has emerged that Dr Williams may have been influenced by his close involvement with a remarkable couple who rescued a boy brutalised by a notorious social services paedophile ring.
Horrified by the inference that the Archbishop is homophobic, the couple have spoken for the first time of their friend’s ‘immeasurable’ help as they struggled to save a child driven to despair by abuse while in the care of the London borough of Islington.
And they described how Dr Williams even devoted an entire week’s prayers for Liam, the terribly damaged boy they went on to foster.
Liam Lucas was just one of the children abused by predatory paedophiles who took advantage of far-Left Islington Council’s childcare policies in the Eighties and Nineties, when it pro-actively recruited gay social workers.
Paedophiles exploited its well-intentioned commitment to equal opportunities and soon most of Islington’s 12 children’s homes had child molesters on the staff who cynically pretended to be ordinary homosexuals. Numerous children and other staff made allegations of abuse, but were branded homophobes and ignored.
And this from the Standard in 1994, blaming the lilberal culture:
All terrible stuff. But still nothing to pinpoint a peadophile ring in Westminster, let alone one hidden by Government…
French troops are on the streets. Why? Is it terrorism. It is a few nutters? Let’s find out.
The Times knows:
“The French government deployed extra troops to patrol streets and urged calm today after three attacks which caused one death and injured some 30 people, stirring fear of copy-cat violence by Islamist extremists.”
So. Muslim extremists are killing in the name of their god?
The French government deployed extra troops to patrol streets and urged calm today after three attacks which caused one death and injured some 30 people, stirring fear of copy-cat violence by Islamist extremists. Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister, acknowledged that the three acts in three days by lone French citizens, including two rampages in vehicles, were a legitimate source of worry in the light of calls by foreign jihadist groups for the murder of non-Muslims.
Like us, Milo Yiannopoulos looked at the pathetic feminist outcry over ‘Manspreading’:
After the numerous and well-publicised feminist fiascoes of 2014, it has become clear to all but the most ideologically determined observers that the intersectional third-wave harpies who so dominate in the American and British media and to whom obeisance has been paid for many years have nothing left to fight for and no arguments left to win.
Manspreading is the movement that killed feminism:
Witness the absurd, offensive, ludicrous spectacle of inanity and stupidity currently surrounding the New York subway: a campaign to stop men sitting comfortably on public transport. We “manspread,” apparently, which observers have interpreted as “sit in such a way as not to painfully crush the testicles or penis” but which feminists insist is an expression of patriarchal authority. You could not, as British newspaper columnists like to say, make this shit up. . . .
The manspreading complaint is couched as a response to “rudeness” by men, but it is no such thing: it is pathetic feminist pipsqueakery, the last dying gasp of a movement with nothing to win and nothing to say, determined to abuse and antagonise the male sex at all costs and for whatever perceived or outright imaginary infraction it can conjure from the vicissitudes of everyday life. It is offensively trivial, and those associated with it ought to be ashamed.
Such people include the author of a New York Times story on this otiose playground jihad against men, and the subway officials who endorsed a poster campaign warning men of the social anxiety caused by their choice of sitting position…
Men of the world: if you get accused of manspreading, spread wider.
Feminism is a poisoned term. It is tainted; stained by the petty misandrist misdeeds of a thousand spoilt brats on the pages of the Guardian; an army of Jessica Valentis whinging about wrapping Christmas presents instead of objecting to the acid thrown in Indian women’s faces.
And men: stop being so tall. You’re blocking the view…
Nick Lidstone was a Cambridgeshire Police sergeant when he was caught taking photos up children’s skirts in a branch of Tesco’s. He used a ‘spy pen’. That was eight years ago.
In 2005, Lidst6one after pleading guilty to a public order offence at North and East Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Court.
It was deemed not to be a sexual offence. So. He was not placed on the sex offenders’ register.
He kept his job. He agreed to undergo therapy.
Lidstone only lost his job last week when he admitted to sex crimes.
Today at Norwich Crown Court, Nick Lidstone, 54, admitted 13 offences, including three rapes, three counts of indecency with a child, various sexual assaults and taking an indecent photograph of a child
He was sentenced to 14 and a half years.
And now he is on the sex offenders’ register.
So. Who police’s the police..?
Westminster peadophiles: a look at the story of a ‘ring’ of VIPs abusing and murdering children in the 1970s and 1980s.
BBC: “Child abuse inquiry: Survivors want new panel and extra powers”
Theresa May Labour has criticised Theresa May for failing to get the inquiry “off the ground”
Is it all about politics?
Dozens of child abuse survivors have urged the government to scrap an inquiry into historical abuse and replace it with a more powerful body. The call comes after a leaked letter from Theresa May told inquiry members their panel might be disbanded.
Peter Saunders, from National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said the move would be supported by the majority of survivors.
Should we legalise guns in the UK?
A burglary suspect has died after being shot by a Taser in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Staffordshire Police had been called to a property after receiving reports of a burglary shortly after 1am on Monday morning. The occupants had left their house, leaving the man inside.
Officers discharged a Taser during the incident, but the suspected burglar became unresponsive after being taken to a police vehicle.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating.
But why bother with electrocuting people when you can have guns? Or are the police scared of blood?
Staffordshire Police are armed and trigger ready:
In September it emerged that a review into the use of Tasers by the force found that officers discharged them on one out of 10 occasions when they were drawn.
The force used Tasers 33 times for every 100 officers in 2013, and a total of 619 times in nine years, according to the police watchdog.
The force said the use of a Taser was “a last resort for officers”.
No. The gun is the last resort.
Would you legalise guns in the UK?
A man who was shot Friday night after allegedly being caught in the act burglarizing an Indianapolis home has died.
Deandre Twyman, 22, and another man reportedly kicked in the front door of a home in the 4500 block of Devon Court around 9:20 Friday night. The homeowner and his fiance were home at the time and shot Twyman in the stomach. A second suspect said to be helping Twyman was not injured. Both men ran away after shots were fired.
About 20 minutes later, police were called to Community East Hospital, where they found Twyman. He later died at the hospital…
Would you legalise guns in the UK?
Why do you MANSPREAD? Is it because you are:
a) a man?
b) a man?
c) a ma…. ok, you get the idea. Men are swine who take up too much space on public transport. Men need to sit more like women do.
The Gothamist filmed a woman with a tape measure confronting men on the subway about the space they consume.
The story is entitled:
Confronting Subway Manspreaders
The intrepid female reporter will confront man and the spreaders of their kind of virus. Stop spreading man and the causes of man.
Knowingly or not, you have seen the phenomenon of “manspreading” in nature. You’ve probably been its unwitting victim. The slow (or rapid) creep of a knee into your own by a guy (indeed, it is always a guy) taking up more than his fair share of real estate on public transit…
Left unchecked, the scourge of “manspreading” will proliferate like algae…
Men are pond life.
The MTA is planning a campaign to raise awareness about mass transit etiquette, but we still have a long way to go. The next time you get on the train, look down at your own knees—how far apart are they? If there’s space enough for a litter of puppies or a celebrity selfie group shot, you are taking up too much space. Pull it in. Don’t make us find you.
If a woman with a tape measure approaches you, spread wider. Do the splits. Go knees akimbo.
Does Britain torture detainees? The Telegraph is doing a spot of Army PR:
A British soldier was investigated for touching a Taliban fighter on the nose with a sheet of paper during a routine interrogation, a former senior military intelligence officer has disclosed.
The soldier was accused of abuse for a minor infringement which broke rules concerning the touching of detainees during questioning.
On another occasion a military intelligence officer in Iraq was investigated for shouting in a suspect’s ear in case he burst an ear drum. The investigation took place four years after the alleged offence, according to the source.
The claims are being made by a former senior interrogator with the Army, who contacted The Telegraph in the wake of this newspaper’s disclosure that the rules governing interrogations are now so stringent that officers feel tactical questioning has become increasingly pointless.
Innocent Alan Henning was murdered by Islamic State. Now read on in the Sun:
THE wife of beheaded hostage Alan Henning is having an affair with her brother-in-law. Widow Barbara, 47, now lives with Pat Kenyon, husband of the murdered cabbie’s sister Gill, 50. Victim Alan died without realising his wife had fallen in love with her brother-in-law.
What’s our reaction to that? Do we hate her? Do we want her beheaded?
Gill said: “I never told Alan before he went. I didn’t want to upset him, and I wanted the kids to have a normal Christmas. It has tortured me ever since. After his capture Alan must have been in his cell thinking about getting back to his family. He would have had so long to ponder things — and what would he have had to come back to?”
The Islamists murdered 16 teachers and 132 children at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Mishal Husain from the Today programme, writes in the Telegraph:
A further cycle of violence is what many in this country now fear, but vengeance is a powerful emotion. On our second morning of broadcasting from Peshawar, we watched a group of young men approach the school in smart green blazers and ties. They were students, who knew that their school was closed, but who wanted to make a statement by turning up at the gates in their uniform. ”We are not scared,’’ Aakif Azeem, 18, told me. ”You can take away our teachers, you can take away my friends, but you can’t take away my identity. This school is my identity.’’
After the horror, Aakif Azeem and his classmates makes us hopeful…
The Sun tells of “The gypsy thugs bringing terror to our classrooms”.
Beneath a photo of “Defiant, Lorraine Larkings and son Rhys, who was beaten up at school”, we read a “SUN INVESTIGATION By STEWART WHITTINGHAM”.
AS Gangnam Style blares out, a ten-strong crowd of Slovak gypsy boys march down the school corridor. One pulls a homemade knife from his sock and waves it menacingly at a scared 11-year-old.
At other schools similar gangs, some armed with knuckledusters, are also bringing terror to lunchtimes, causing violent fights in the playground and intimidating girls.
Shockingly, one 13-year-old girl was ordered to perform a sex act on a young thug in a school canteen.
A Sun investigation has found these events are taking place not in poverty-stricken Eastern Europe — but the North of England.
Taking a knife to school is not part of the syllabus. Rape is not part of the syllabus. Rape is also illegal in gypsy law. The Sun adds:
Roma gypsies are the most persecuted minority in Europe. They have every right to be here as they come from EU countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia.
We learn there are 19,000 Roma children in UK schools. And you’re ready for the ‘but…’.
One female teacher in the city’s Gorton area — who asked not to be named — revealed: “They can be very disruptive and want to fight all the time. They are just not interested in the lessons….One teacher in north Manchester claimed a Roma girl brought in a big kitchen knife to scare some girls. She was only 12.
Obama and the FBI blame the hacking attacks against Sony Pictures on North Korea. Who knew the DPRK regime was capable? The hacks were triggered by the The Interview, in which two American journalists played by James Franco and Seth Rogen set out to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Amid threats of movie theater terrorism, Sony pulled the film from its Christmas Day release.
Reactions have been many:
The whole Sony story has a certain twisted dark comedy flavor with CEO Michael Lynton bickering with Obama over the release of what is said to be an unwatchable movie. It sure looks that way from the trailers. If the NORKS had any brains, they should just have let the film be released and it would have sunk like a stone. But perhaps they had other intentions — or someone did — beyond making fun of inane Hollywood studio executives or even silencing a movie.
The cyber attack on the studio has a serious side and it’s not really about North Korea. It’s about who helped North Korea, the assumption being that the NORKS don’t quite have the technical expertise to pull this off by themselves. Russia, China and Iran are the three candidates whose names have been thrown into the hopper as possible co-perps — maybe more than one of them.
Hollywood came to the Rev. Al Thursday as embattled Sony exec Amy Pascal met privately with the black leader for 90 minutes in a bid to fix the fallout from the cyberhacking leak of embarrassing, racially charged emails.
Pascal agreed to let Sharpton have a say in how Sony makes motion pictures, in an effort to combat what he called “inflexible and immovable racial exclusion in Hollywood.”
“We have agreed to having a working group deal with the racial bias and lack of diversity in Hollywood,” said Sharpton.
One important point in the President’s remarks today: a potentially ominous nod to the need for more regulation and control over the internet. The internet now is like “the Wild West,” he said, “We need more rules about how the internet should operate.” Cybersecurity is an urgent issue, and the Sony hacks underscore that, said the president. But when heads of state talk about more state control over the internet, rarely does greater freedom of speech result.
The only problem: At least one cable company preemptively surrendered to North Korean intimidation, too, reportedly saying it would not air the film. Now, even if Sony had a backbone transplant, it couldn’t release the movie.
Sony could still dump it on the Internet and let it spread virally. It would lose ticket sales, but the company would strike a defiant blow nonetheless.
Don’t hold your breath. Sony would rather go the way of appeasement. And so would everyone else, it seems.
For Pascal, 56, and Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, 54, the damage has gotten far worse as the flood of stolen material — including both of their email inboxes — keeps coming, and on Dec. 16, the hackers, dubbed Guardians of Peace, threatened a 9/11-style attack on theaters that show Seth Rogen’s North Korea assassination comedy The Interview. Pascal, the lead creative executive on Interview, tells THR she believes she has the backing of her Tokyo-based employers. But by now, high-level insiders have moved from speculating about whether she will be replaced to asking when and by whom.
The James Flacco Name Generator
At a press conference on Friday, President Obama said Sony made “a mistake” by canceling the release of The Interview. He also praised the film’s stars Seth Rogen and James … Flacco? If, like actor James Franco, you want a new last name—one you can share with an NFL quarterback—then use our name generator below.
What I wonder is why people aren’t a little more put off by a form of censorship that is more insidious, and will likely affect far more movies in the long run: the soft censorship of appealing to the Chinese government in order to reap the Chinese box office. There have been widespread claims that recent blockbuster movies like the latest Transformers have been written so as to appease Chinese censors. There’s nothing wrong with writing movies to reach out to a particularly huge foreign box office– why wouldn’t you want your movie to play to Chinese moviegoers?– but appealing to the Chinese government is a whole other ball of wax. That’s where you can see genuine self-censorship coming in. And while I imagine that this whole thing will blow over before long, without a great deal of long-term damage, I think the urge to play in China -and for the Chinese government — will only grow over time.
The problem of willingly selling out to the Chinese reminded me of Ayn Rand, whose bracing moral lessons I’m sure Freddie had in the back of his mind. Rand’s finest novel,The Fountainhead, is an anti-capitalist screed about the spiritual and cultural evil of catering to market demand. Forget the problem of giving the commie censors what they want. It’s wrong to give the free market what it wants, when what it wants is aesthetically debased, which it always is. The architect hero of The Fountainhead, Howard Roark, is the ultimate in spine, the patron saint of never selling out. When one of his perfect, austere modernist buildings is bowdlerized the better to suit the public taste, he blows it up. That’s right, Howard Roark is a terrorist, a jihadi for artistic integrity. Maybe Howard Roark is the answer. Maybe can show us the way. Maybe Sony needs to feel that it is unsafe not to release The Interview. Maybe Seth Rogen needs to blow something up! Or maybe Brian Beutler is on to something, and the best we can do is call on Anonymous to steal the movie and make sure that, in this case at least, market-based American spinelessness can’t put a gag on our precious stoner auteurs.
Sony is a for-profit entity, and not even an American one, that effectively has important influence over American culture. We don’t entrust for-profit entities with the common defense. And recognizing that the threat to a Sony picture is actually a threat to the freedom of American culture ought to lead us to a public rather than a private solution.
The federal government should take financial responsibility. Either Washington should guarantee Sony’s financial liability in the event of an attack, or it should directly reimburse the studio’s projected losses so it can release the movie online for free. The latter solution has the attractive benefit of ensuring a far wider audience for the film than it would otherwise have attracted.
After Sony Pictures announced yesterday that it was pulling the release of The Interview, a film about two American journalists sent to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, from its scheduled Christmas Day release after threats of movie theater terrorism, several theaters across the U.S. said that they would show Team America: World Police instead.
The basic idea was to replace one movie mocking the North Korean regime with another. Team America, an all-puppet comedy from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, pits its heroes against a sad-sack version of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. At the end of the movie, he’s impaled on a giant spike, and it’s revealed that he’s actually an alien cockroach. Fitting!..
The Daily Beastreports that theaters in Cleveland and Atlanta that had planned to make the switch say that Paramount, the studio behind Team America, has ordered them to stop. The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, which also planned to show the puppet comedy, announced on Twitter this afternoon that due to “circumstances beyond our control” its Team America screening has been cancelled…. blocking replacement screenings of Team America can really only be described as next-level cowardly bullshit.
Sony was just the latest – Janice Turner:
Not only has Paramount pulled Team America, a decade-old puppet comedy parodying Kim Jong Un’s father, but a Steve Carell movie based upon the graphic novel Pyongyang. This is no comic, but an account by Guy Delisle of his time as an animator in a North Korean studio, constantly monitored by minders yet getting glimpses of the regime in all its absurdity and horror. This is a film that needed to be made.
And when the Sony cave-in was announced, Carell tweeted a still from The Great Dictator. It is an apt comparison: Charlie Chaplin’s devastating and humane 1940 parody did not bring down Hitler but it gave succour to those who were trying. Such was its propaganda value that while it was in production and Britain was still pursuing appeasement, the government planned to ban it for fear of riling the Führer. It was inspired by Chaplin watching Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will: while other anti-Nazis were awed and dismayed by its grandiosity, Chaplin fell about laughing…
…too often, the response to any threat has been cowardice and complicity. Hollywood just behaved like the entire British establishment which dropped Salman Rushdie after The Satanic Verses rather than turning on his illiberal persecutors. And even now Newsnight refuses to show an affectionate Jesus and Mo cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad, siding with Salafist extremists rather than moderate Muslims who argued the image was inoffensive.
What if one of America’s violent anti-choice groups threatens cinemas showing a film in which a woman has abortion? Will we capitulate every time the lawyers get nervous? Because Sony Pictures just put artistic freedom in turnaround. And this is no joke.
Free speech has been under attack for an age. North Korea was just picking up the vibe…
News in the Daily Mail of nurses and foreigners: come over here, saving our lives:
The truth, you will not all surprised to learn, is somewhat different.
The Health and Social Care Information Service (HSCIS) notes:
Of all the joiners with a known nationality between April 2013 to April 2014, 20.8 per cent (6,704 out of 32,251) were non-British; Similarly, of all the joiners with a known nationality between September 2013 to September 2014, 22.0 per cent (7,449 out of 33,838) were non-British.
Such are the facts…
Two newspapers lead with news of alleged Westminster paedophiles who allegedly raped and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s. The media calls these alleged killers and perverts ‘VIPs’. Doesn’t the acronym VIP place these alleged crimes firmly in their time. In the 1970s, VIPs were all the rage.
The Scotsman talks of the “paedophile abuse ring”. Again, the language is suggestive. The ‘ring’ suggests a closed circle tightly bound. But child abuse takes place most often in the home in secret. There is no ring, unless it’s a gold wedding band on the abuser’s finger. There is only depravity and opportunity.
The Guardian has news to chill and shock:
“London police: we believe claims of ‘VIP’ child sex abuse and murder”
Who cares what the police believe? The police should stick to facts, gather evidence and uphold the law of the land. Believing in something circumvents all the hard-fought barriers to proving guilt.
Scotland Yard says victim’s allegations against prominent political and establishment figures are credible and true
The police are now judge and jury. They are not looking for evidence. They are looking for proof. Because it is all ‘true’:
Scotland Yard officers have said they believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.
Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties.
The police are trawling for victims. But why haven’t more stepped forward? If there were so many victims, why have we not heard from more of them? Suffering sexual abuse is a horrific ordeal. But are all victims defined by the ordeal? Don’t some make successes of their lives? And do these people now feel confident enough to step forward and point the finger at the VIPs?
So far one victim, known by the pseudonym Nick, has come forward to tell of a decade of abuse he suffered at the hands of people including senior politicians and members of Britain’s establishment, and of three homicides. Police as yet have no bodies, full names of those abused or killed, or exact locations where the killings took place.
…as ‘yet’. The Guardian’s Vikram Dodd is in agreement with the police. It’s all true. Now show us the bodies.
But the detective in charge of the investigation pointedly described Nick’s allegations as “true” and said Nick had been abused from 1975 to 1984, between the ages of seven and 16.
Now in middle age, Nick has given partial names of other children who were abused, the Guardian understands, and has given names of “VIPs” alleged to be involved in the abuse. He is understood to have been scared of reprisals for telling detectives about the things powerful people did to him and other children.
Should we not treat one man’s claims with sceptisism? Doing so is not to call Nick a liar. Doing so makes any trial more telling. Hard questions will have been answered. Doubt will not linger.
If the allegations are correct, it represents one of the worst scandals in modern British history and endangers already thin public trust in the politicians who govern the country.
Not only trust in politicians. Trust in the police, too.
Police promised on Thursday to investigate “without fear or favour” but declined to say if any of those named by Nick had been interviewed as witnesses or suspects.
Or are dead, like Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Peter Jaconelli.
Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, in charge of the investigation, said police policy dictates that officers believe a victim unless evidence emerges to undermine their account, but in Nick’s case experienced detectives from two teams had concluded his accounts were true. “Nick has been spoken to by experienced officers from the child abuse team and experienced officers from the murder investigation team. They and I believe what Nick is saying is credible and true.”
Again with the “believe”. Police didn’t listen then to the young woman being abused Rochdale. They did not listen to the Blackpool children, like Charlene Downes. They do not listen now. They work to an agenda. They hear only what suits them. They are not listening to Nick. They are using him to look good.
Nick waited 30 years to come forward and talk to detectives, having talked to the media first. It is clear detectives are not just investigating but building criminal cases to take to court.
Deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse thanked the media for their work but warned them not to compromise crucial witnesses. He said in one case Nick had been shown a picture of a suspect by a reporter. “I need to be able to convince a court that any identification made by Nick was done within the rules … and Nick was, crucially, identifying the [person] he remembers from 30 odd years ago, rather than the photograph he was shown by journalists in the more recent past.”
Can we ask it? Can we say that Nick might have researched the individual, that he might have seen them in years past on the telly? The defence barrister will ask it. They will ask far more probing questions. At least, they should do.
McDonald said: “I appeal to men who were subjected to abuse 30 years ago to come forward. We are also investigating the murder of three young boys – we are determined to find answers.” He said people who lived at or visited Dolphin Square in the 1970s “will have seen or heard something that they only understand the significance of now.
Not ‘may’. Will.
And then we get to the crux of the police mission:
“I would ask you to trust me. I will support you, and do everything in my power to find those responsible and bring them to justice. I need your accounts to help me do that. The abuse he has detailed that he was subjected to was carried out by a man on his own, a group of men or during what have been described as parties.”
Trust in me. Trust the police. The same police that let down young people on Oxford, Rotherham and elsewhere. The same police that swooped on Jim Davidson as he arrived at Heathrow Airport, nabbing before the cameras an innocent man who was coming INTO the country for a TV show not fleeing it.
Trust them. Trust the police who never knew anything of a ‘ring of VIP’ paedos until Nick spoke out.
Nick told the BBC last month that the abusers would inflict brutal punishments on any child who did not obey orders and children were picked up in cars to be taken to locations where they were attacked.
“People who drove us around could come forward. Staff in some of the locations could come forward. There are so many people who must have had suspicions. We weren’t smuggled in under a blanket through the back door. It was done openly and people must have questioned that and they need to come forward.”
One man wants to find out what happened to his son.
The Daily Express: “Father claims son was MURDERED by Westminster paedophile ring – and police covered it up”
Retired magistrate Vishambar Mehrotra, 69, recorded a telephone conversation with a male prostitute who said that his son Vishal may have been abducted and taken to a notorious south-west London guesthouse in 1981.
He took the recording to the police at the time, but claims that they refused to investigate an allegation which implicated “judges and politicians” and instead launched a “huge cover-up”.
The youngster was abducted while walking home from watching the Prince of Wales and Diana Spencer ride in a carriage to their wedding on July 29 that year. He had gone ahead of his family members towards his home in Putney, and was last seen less than a mile from the guesthouse.
According to Mr Mehrotra, he received an anonymous call some months later from a man who suggested that Vishal may have been abducted by “highly placed” paedophiles operating from the Elm Guest House in nearby Barnes.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “I was contacted by a young man who seemed to be in his 20s. He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House near Barnes Common.
“He said there were very highly placed people there. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.”
Vishal’s remains were discovered buried in woodland in West Sussex.
Was Vishal murdered by ‘VIP paedos’? We don’t know. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg does:
“We are in the early stages of really a reckoning with our past,” said Clegg, speaking on LBC radio, “of things happening on a scale and of a gravity which just a few months ago would have seemed unimaginable and almost too horrific to contemplate.”
A reckoning suggests facing up ‘our’ past. But we have very few details. And what about the here and now? And what’s this about ‘our’ past? Is any guilt now a collective guilt, encompassing everyone and anyone alive in the 1970s and 1980s?
The tale of Westminster paedos is not just an investigation into alleged crimes; it’s a chance for the country to unite and find a moral pupose. And the people running the show – the politicians and police we are supposed to challenge – are calling the shots.
Saudi Arabia’s ridiculous sounding The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia has arrested six Arab men for selling cakes deemed offensive to Islam.
The commission raided the shop after they received a tip from a client complaining about the cakes that featured a plane and anti Islam messages… The messages were inspired by Geert Wilders’ idea for a new Saudi flag. His idea changes the Islamic declaration of faith into anti Prophet, anti Islam and anti Koran words.
Wilders is the Dutch filmmaker and MP banned from the UK for making anti-Islamic comments and whose bitter hatred of Islam marks him out as a curio for professors and students in mental health to observe and write theses on.
Wilders distributed these flag stickers in May, causing Saudi Arabia to issue trade sanctions against the Netherlands. Frans Timmermans, then the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had to visit the kingdom to calm tensions.
The NL Times then delivers this wondrous line:
Social media users have called for stiff action against the offenders, condemning the use of cakes to target local values and traditions.
Next time use Jaffa cakes. Which are biscuits, right?
Tim Hick, Crime and Parliamentary Affairs Correspondent for the North Yorkshire Enquirer, has news:
For some time now, despite intimidation and threats from the Police and Scarborough Borough Council, the North Yorks Enquirer has been pursuing the truth. We have consistently alleged that there was a major paedophile-ring operating in Scarborough from 1947 until about 2009 and that it included Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli, the Mayor of Scarborough. We have alleged that his ring was the most successful paedophile ring in British criminal history, was connected to the Westminster paedophile ring, operated far beyond North Yorkshire, had international connections and was involved in trafficking and enticing young people into prostitution. It was successful because Jaconelli was protected by North Yorkshire Police, because he was a Scarborough Borough Councillor, County Councillor, millionaire businessman, Mayor, leading Scarborough Citizen who was a School Governor and ran the local Judo Club.
As North Korea fulminates agaisnt the USA olence, attacks the craven Sony Japanese mob and coerces America’s four largest theater chains into shelving the pretty poor film The Interview, kids in the DPRK learn that geometry can vanquish the enemy.
George Stinney was 14 when he was executed in the electric chair. An all-white jury had found him guilty of killing two white girls, Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 8, in the spring of 1944. George Stinney was black.
The victims and Stinney lived in the segregated mill town of Alcolu, South Carolina.
The jury took three hours to find him guilty.
He had been removed from all family and friends and kept in prison. The authoriteis said he had confessed.
He was questioned in a small room, alone – without his parents, without an attorney. (Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court case guaranteeing the right to counsel, wouldn’t be decided until 1963.) Police claimed the boy confessed to killing Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 8, admitting he wanted to have sex with Betty. They rushed him to trial. After a few hours of testimony and 10 minutes of deliberation, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to die by electrocution – “until your body be dead in accordance with law. And may God have mercy on your soul,” court documents said. His court-appointed attorney never sought an appeal.
(The US abolished executions of children under 18 in 2005.)
But he wasn’t guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
“There wasn’t ever any doubt about him being guilty,” he said. “He was real talkative about it. He said, ‘I’m real sorry. I didn’t want to kill them girls.’ “
Indeed, just 84 days after the girls’ deaths, Stinney was sent to the electric chair. Today, an appeal from a death sentence is all but automatic, and years, even decades, pass before an execution, which provides at least some time for new evidence to emerge.
Attempts to overturn the conviction have met with resistance among Alcolu’s white community. Sadie Duke told the local paper in January 2014 that the day before the murders, George had told her and a friend: “If you don’t get away from here and if you ever come back, I will kill you.” Another local, who was 15 at the time, said George was known as a bully.
Asked whether she recognised this version of her brother, Aime says: “The only white kids that came in our area was those kids. We had our own black school and church. We didn’t fool around with white people.” Members of Alcolu’s black community say that it was unlikely that, in the segregated town, any black child would threaten white children without there being repercussions.
However, back in 1995, WL Hamilton, George’s seventh grade teacher, who is black, told the Item newspaper that he had a temper and had got into a fight with a girl at school, scratching her with a knife. Aime said she phoned Hamilton after she read the story. “That bastard. That was a damn lie. When I heard about that lie Mr Hamilton told I called him up. I said my name is Aime Stinney and you said my brother was a bad boy. You’ve got one foot on a banana peel and the other going straight to hell.”
Betty June Binnicker’s family never moved too far from Alcolu. A few weeks ago Frankie Bailey Dyches, Betty June’s niece, helped organise a gathering of family and acquaintances to counter what she said was a false impression of George Stinney. In a restaurant outside Manning, less than five miles away, Frankie and her cousin Carolyn Geddings talk about the case over the detritus of a southern lunch of fried chicken, prime ribs, rice and gravy. Dyches and Geddings, both 62, have grown up with the grief of their mothers, Betty June’s elder sisters, and their grandparents Daisy and John Binnicker. To them, George’s confession, and a handwritten note from a Clarendon County deputy stating he confessed and had led them to the murder weapon – a 15in railroad spike – was proof enough of his guilt.
“It seems like a poor little black boy was railroaded by the white people, but that’s not how it was,” said Dyches. “I’m 100% convinced he did it.” One of the investigating officers, Mr Pratt, had told her before he died never to doubt George’s guilt.
“The stories we hear are that he was a shy bashful boy, but he was a bully and he was mean,” she said, citing allegations by Duke and others. She questions the memories of the Stinney family, the motivation of the attorneys and the timing of the appeal. “Why now? What about in the 1960s, when the civil rights movement was starting? What about in the 1970s or 80s? One was a school teacher. It’s not as though they weren’t educated.”
Now Carmen Mullen said the case was a great injustice.
….70 years after he became the youngest person executed in the U.S. in the 1900s. A judge ruled he was denied due process.
“I think it’s long overdue,” Stinney’s sister, Katherine Stinney Robinson, 80, tells local newspaper The Manning Times. “I’m just thrilled because it’s overdue.”
In her ruling, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen wrote that she found that “fundamental, Constitutional violations of due process exist in the 1944 prosecution of George Stinney, Jr., and hereby vacates the judgment.”
The case was brought by Stinney Robinson and two of her surviving siblings…
George Stinney Jr. was executed less than three months after the two girls were murdered. His trial lasted just one day. After the jury needed less than 10 minutes to declare him guilty, no appeals were filed on his behalf.
“His executioners noted the electric chair straps didn’t fit him, and an electrode was too big for his leg,” The State newspaper reports. The paper adds, “It took Mullen nearly four times as long to issue her ruling as it took in 1944 to go from arrest to execution.”
Justice moves slowly when you’re powerless….
Student Della wants her exams delayed.
White Della is writing on behalf of black students. Della understands.
She writes to Oberlin College’s Professor Raney, who replies:
So. The other parent’s child in the suprmaket keeps ramming their trianing trolley into your legs.
This is what you do.*
* Bleach can burn. Try organic milk.