We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
Michelle Malkin: THE Left’s escalating war on military recruiters–and the apathetic, weak-kneed response to it…
JACOB SULLUM says guns on campus.: “Instead of an increase in violence, adoption of Florida-style concealed carry policies has been followed by a decline in violence. The extent to which that decline can be attributed to more guns in the hands of law-abiding people in public places remains a matter of much controversy. But one thing seems pretty clear: The fears stoked by opponents of concealed carry liberalization were unjustified. Are there good reasons to think their dark predictions about guns on campus will be any more accurate? “
IN: “Ikea’s cheap lines upset the Danes”, the Telegraph reports:
Academics in Denmark have accused Ikea, the furniture chain, of “Swedish imperialism” for naming its cheaper products after Danish towns.
The researchers claim to have discovered a pattern where more expensive items, such as beds and chairs, have been named after Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian towns whereas doormats, draught excluders and runners are named after Danish places.
“The stuff that goes on the floor is about as low as it gets,” said Klaus Kjöller, of the University of Copenhagen, who described the phenomenon as “Swedish imperialism”.
Officials at Ikea’s headquarters in the district of Scania – which once belonged to Denmark – rejected the criticism. “It’s nonsense to say that we did this on purpose. It was a pure coincidence,” said Charlotte Lindgren.
SPORTS quote of the day: BBC Breakfast news presenter Chris Hollins reporting on athlete facilities at the Beijing Olympic village: “A shower might cause problems for Paula Radcliffe, who as we know prefers an arse bath or two.”
Adding: “Sorry. An ice bath. I’d better go.”
Says he: “Nick is experimenting with some sort of low-carbon moped for getting around London, so I’m sure there is photograph coming out of that.”
And one that should be reproduced for years and years and years to come…
DIZZY thinks Jacqui Smith said on the Today prgramme this morning, in an interview on ID cards, that “the database cannot be hacked”.
But can it be put on a disc and lost?
STEVE Marshall is an English travel agent living in Spain. As the New York Times reports, he offers trips to Cuba.
But his business is being damaged by the United States government. In October, about 80 of his Web sites stopped working, sites like www.cuba-hemingway.com, www.cuba-havanacity.com and www.bonjourcuba.com.
Says Marshall: “I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all. We thought it was a technical problem. Wrong. It turns out that Mr. Marshall’s Web sites had been placed on a Treasury Department blacklist.
His American domain name registrar, eNom Inc. closed Mr. Marshall’s sites without notifying him. To compound his pain, the company has refused to release the domain names to him. His sites are, he says, hosted in the Bahamas.
Mr. Marshall says he does not understand “how Web sites owned by a British national operating via a Spanish travel agency can be affected by U.S. law.” And, “these days not even a judge is required for the U.S. government to censor online materials.”
Susan Crawford, a visiting law professor at Yale and a leading authority on Internet law, said the fact that many large domain name registrars are based in the United States gives the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, control “over a great deal of speech — none of which may be actually hosted in the U.S., about the U.S. or conflicting with any U.S. rights.”
“OFAC apparently has the power to order that this speech disappear,” Professor Crawford said. The law under which the Treasury Department is acting has an exemption, known as the Berman Amendment, which seeks to protect “information or informational materials.” Mr. Marshall’s Web sites, though ultimately commercial, would seem to qualify, and it is not clear why they appear on the list. Unlike Americans, who face significant restrictions on travel to Cuba, Europeans are free to go there, and many do.
Having engaged in protestionism to sink British online gaming companies in the US, maybe the Government in the Land fo the Free is gearing up for the post-Fidel Castro era.
If you’re going to buy a holiday to the Havana theme park, then buy one from a US site…
SAYS Jose Mourinho of Chelsea: “If I play them in the Champions League, I want to go there and kill them – that’s my message.”
He’s not bitter, you see. Not bitter at all….
Noah Greenwald, of the Center for Biological Diversity in “Conservation Groups File Suit to Obtain Protection for Rare Three-Foot Long Spitting Earthworm”
Denial of protection for the earthworm is all too typical of the Bush administration …
Easington in County Durham is the ‘s no whiter place in England and Wales. It was the set for Billy Elliot…
As Anorak’s Ed Barrett writes:
There is a paradox in society today. The middle classes are enjoying a period of dominance in public life, but it is a hollow ascendancy. They are uncertain and anxious: they no longer have a highbrow culture to aspire to, and social status can be bought by anyone who can afford the price of admission. These days, Jack is as good as his Mastercard, and there is no going back to the days when deference was taken for granted.
Social and cultural boundaries might have become blurred, but the urge to enforce them remains. When one’s sense of superiority is fragile, it is reassuring to have someone else to look down upon, and despising the chavs is thus an easy form of middle-class self-flattery.
JOHN Howard says we’re winning:
Perhaps the most convincing sign of all that some progress has been made is the significant decline in media coverage of Iraq – noticeable both in the United States and Australia. The dominant left-liberal elements in the media in both our countries apparently cannot bring themselves to acknowledge good news stories coming out of Baghdad.
TO hell with the peacemakers
VIA: Willilam Buckley “famously smoked marijuana — after sailing his boat outside the U.S. territorial limits, where it would no longer be illegal. Finally at the age of 78, Buckley wrote an editorial for the National Review decrying the war on pot.”
“Legal practices should be informed by realities,” Buckley argued, citing 700,000 pot arrests each year, 87% of which involved only possession of small amounts. “This exercise in scrupulosity costs us $10-15 billion per year in direct expenditures alone.”
But would America ever rise up and demand a change in marijuana laws?
It is happening, but ever so gradually. Two of every five Americans, according to a 2003 Zogby poll cited by Dr. Nadelmann, believe “the government should treat marijuana more or less the same way it treats alcohol: It should regulate it, control it, tax it, and make it illegal only for children”. The Dutch do odd things, but here they teach us a lesson.
Buckley’s position was unexpected, but it offered an honorable example of his real commitment to intellectualism. He began his essay by writing that “Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.”
His son said Buckley died “with his boots on,” according to BBC News — writing at his desk. “If he had been given a choice on how to depart this world,” the National Review wrote, “I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas.”
RON Paul: “DALLAS—Republican Ron Paul didn’t get many votes for president in his home state, but he easily won the primary night nomination for his congressional seat.”
BOB KRUMM notes: “I’ve noticed over just the last couple days that Barack Obama is falling under media scrutiny for the first time–and he isn’t bearing well under the pressure.”
First there was his campaign’s leaked conversation with the Canadians: “Don’t worry, I’m only anti-NAFTA so that I can get the votes of the rubes.” Then his Rezko dealings got some long overdue notice. Now he is actually getting fact checked on the things he is claiming. And guess what? The facts don’t check. And it’s being reported. In San Francisco of all places.
Blame the journalists for not checking things from the off…
DO these videos – including one of a US soldier throwing a puppy off a cliff – reveal the dehumanization of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?
It makes for unpleasant viewing:
Leaving scene of accident:
Nigel Morris on the celebrity drug culture.
He, as the Catholic Herald reports, has endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a “notorious anti-Semitic forgery that enjoys widespread currency in neo-Nazi circles”.
Williams says the forgeries are authentic. In 2000, he wrote: “God put into men’s hands the Protocols of the Sages of Sion… if men want to know the truth, but few do.”
As the Telegraph’s Damian Thompson notes: This is a man who never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like.”
In this pastoral letter, he writes: “However, until [the Jews] re-discover their true Messianic vocation, they may be expected to continue fanatically agitating, in accordance with their false messianic vocation of Jewish world-dominion, to prepare the Anti-Christ’s throne in Jerusalem.”The SSPX refuses to condemn English-born Bishop Williamson. It says it has “no policy” on the authenticity of the Protocols, a Russian Czarist forgery that has been described as “a manual in Hitler’s war to exterminate the Jews”.
The Society of St Pius X, which was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, broke with the Church when the archbishop illicitly ordained four bishops in 1988 against Pope John Paul II’s express wishes. The bishops were excommunicated.
DEPUTY DUP leader Peter Robinson is red hot favourite to lead the party at 1/20, over Nigel Dodds priced at 10/1.
FORMER stuntman Joe Weston-Webb has a catapult loaded with chicken manure.
He says his offices in Kegworth, Notts, have been attacked by arsonists and he is fighting back.
Says he: “There’s no way anyone will get caught…so I thought I would set up my own defence.”
A police spokesman says they would give “practical security advice” but warned against using “unreasonable force”.
WRITES Seamus Milne in the Guardian: “More than 120 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces in the past week, of whom one in five were children and more than half were civilians, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
“During the same period, three Israelis were killed, two of whom were soldiers taking part in the attacks.The Gaurdaina’s MORE than 120 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces in the past week, of whom one in five were children and more than half were civilians, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. During the same period, three Israelis were killed, two of whom were soldiers taking part in the attacks.”
But if Milne is to engage in what bloggers call “stat porn” he may wonder this this disparity is because the Israelis fight as an Army in uniform and the Palestianian militia are dressed as civilians and firing from blocks of flats.
And don’t Hamas want to kill all Israelis, and Jews?
Allah, annihilate them completely and do not leave anyone of them.”
Does this include killing all the children?
“Suicide attacks and jihad reinforce national unity in the ranks….Our voice is one of struggle, of jihad and of suicide….Iraq could win if it equipped its citizens with explosive belts and turned them into human bombs.”
(Sheik Ahmed Yassin, interview with the Muslim website Alskifa, January 10, 2003, translated by Israel Defense Forces)
For the bloodthirsty…
VLADIMIR Nabokov on goalkeeping: “As with folded arms I leant back against the left goalpost, I enjoyed the luxury of closing my eyes, and thus I would listen to my heart knocking and feel the blind drizzle on my face and hear, in the distance, the broken sounds of the game, and think of myself as of a fabulous exotic being in an English footballer’s disguise, composing my verse in a tongue nobody understood about a remote country nobody knew. Small wonder I was not very popular with my team-mates.”
Dmitiri Nabokov’s Laura Marketing Plan
AFP – Saturday, March 1 01:56 amSYDNEY (AFP) – A chihuahua that went paragliding in Australia strapped to its owner’s chest survived when the pair crashed into a tree shortly after taking off, police said Saturday…
TWO polar bears re playing in Vienna’s Schoenbrum zoo.
The Express says the “two twin cubs” (not three twin cubs), put on a “entrancing performance”. There is “wrestling”. There is “rolling around”.
This is part of the Teutonic polar bear breeding programme, a plan to have each German-Austrian town equipped with its own polar.
There is mention made of Knut, the foremost celebrity polar bear, the subject of a film deal chronicling his “early life”.
Knut is one.