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.
Thanks to Ken Livingstone, this is how we all get around when in London:
KARL was Rove was Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. He’s been talking about the new media.
As reported on Tech President, Rove says:
Blogs give angry people an undeserved voice: “People on the fringe are no longer voiceless,” noted Rove. Blogs have the unintended effect of giving “angry kooks” an “inexpensive soapbox” and a sense of “pseudo-anonymity” that “brings forth the worst angels of our nature.” He trashed DailyKos and the liberal blogosphere for using more “dirty words” than conservative blogs like Townhall and RedState. “The Netroots, he said, “argue from anger rather than reason.” Many, he believes, blog for “personal release” and not “political persuasion.” He argued that the Netroots have been largely ineffective and said MoveOn.org’s inability to end the war proves his point.
The 24-hour news cycle “may not be good for the system”: “Being right,” he said, “has given way to being faster.” “Speed matters, but speed kills.”
The internet has made running for president “like the Emperor’s new clothes”: “Every word, public utterance, and public appearance can be captured and put on the web. “If you don’t believe me, just ask Senator James Webb or former Senator George Allen.”
The internet lacks proportion: Sites like The Drudge Report skew perceptions and public opinion and make mountains out of molehills.
You find what you like and stick with it. New media – just like the old media…
THE Croydonian notes: “Romanian near-fascists to Alessandra Mussolini: We can be rude about our gypsies, but you mustn’t.”
A tale from Der Spiegel, which in the words of an SNP MEP, ‘warms the heart’:
The less than loveable Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty ragbag group in Brussels has had quite the falling out over recent events in Italy, “the murder of an Italian woman…which police suspect was perpetrated by a Romanian immigrant from the Roma community”.
Alessandra Mussolini commented “Breaking the law became a way of life for Romanians”, and the Partidul România Mare or Greater Romania Party does not like that interpretation at all: “The unconsciousness of this lady who makes easily generalizations, leaving us to understand that all the Romanians are living like delinquents and are making dreadful crimes — remind us of her grandfather, the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini”. And this comes from Corneliu Vadim Tudor (no relation) the non-MEP leader of the GRP. The GRP wants La Mussolini expelled from ITS.
Righty-ho. The GRP has designs on Moldova, the Vojvodina, bit of Ukraine and other places where Romanians are to be found other than Romania itself, and its publications “include articles that denied the Holocaust in Romania and took deliberately antagonistic positions toward Romanian Roma, ethnic Hungarians, and other minority groups”. So, a nice bunch all round.
The ideological ancestors of both made common cause in the Axis, of course.
Source: The Croydonian
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) – President Gen. Pervez Musharraf placed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto under house arrest for a single day Friday—surrounding her villa with barbed wire—and rounded up thousands of her supporters to block a mass rally against his emergency rule.
The crackdown dimmed hopes the two pro-U.S. leaders could ever form an alliance. A top American official voiced fears it would obstruct the fight against Islamic extremism—a threat underlined by a suicide bombing in northwest Pakistan that targeted a Cabinet minister, who escaped unharmed.
The U.S. called for the restrictions to be lifted. Hours later, the acting deputy commissioner for Islamabad, Aamir Ali Ahmed, said that they had ended, but her villa remained surrounded by police.
A LOOK to the online Drudge Report and we are invited to roll our computer mouse over the polar bear and help the creature reach the last blimp of ice on Earth.
We roll. The bear swims. But it’s not enough. The ice melts. Bear sinks. A message appears: “As the Arctic ice disappears, so does the bear’s chance of survival.”
“ACT NOW! ADOPT NOW! Before it’s game over for the polar bear.”
We’ve played better games. Pacman. Space Invaders. Stick In The Mud. But we are good sports at Anorak and we click the bear.
And we are greated by another message: “If the ice disappears then it will be game over for the polar bear. Act now. Adopt now. From £2.50 a month you can adopt a Svalbard polar bear. With your continual support we can do more to help the polar bear in its struggle for survival.”
The advert touches our inner Angelina Jolie and we hand over the money. “Order now
As the World Wide Life Fund tells us: “…experts predict that Arctic sea ice could disappear completely in summer by 2040.”
Your polar bear will not live beyond then. Polar Bears International tells us that in the wild bears usually live between 15 and 18 years. It is unlikely you will have to take delivery of your bear and house it.
And more good news. Should your polar bear be the one chosen to be the face of global warming, you might make your investment back in appearance fees and royalties, and then some.
So why wait? Hurry while stocks last…
BBC reports: “Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been placed under house arrest and her home surrounded by security forces.
“The move came as she tried to leave her Islamabad residence to join a planned rally in nearby Rawalpindi.
“The United States has criticised the move saying that she must be “permitted freedom of movement.”
Outside the house:
The police presence outside Benazir Bhutto’s house has been growing throughout the day.
Ms Bhutto says her supporters will continue to oppose Gen Musharraf
They’ve just added a couple of lines of columns of barbed wire at the end of the road where her house is situated.
She has been trying to get out of her house at least to speak to the media, even if not to be able to address the supporters.
We’re told she got past one road block but was unable to get past the next and she has now been served with this detention order.
The only way to explain why the US and its allies do not abandon a leader who is less popular with his people than the terrorist whom he is being paid billions to hunt is that the people of Pakistan are considered irrelevant in discussions about Pakistan.
AS Dizzy notes of Ken Livingstone and Yusaf al-Qaradawi:
What is it about the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone’s obsession with conspiracy theory over reality. This week he’s got upset with Private Eye for pointing out that Yusaf al-Qaradawi is an Islamist who has called for homosexuals to be killed and is generally the sort of person that is part of the problem not the solution.
He’s written a letter to the satirical rag saying that the Qaradawi’s statements have been misquoted and deliberately distorted by taking advantage of the fact people don’t speak Arabic – does he? Yet the crux of his complaint is that really it’s all just disinformation by those pesky Jews in Israel. Yes that’s right, it’s just a Mossad lie all those things Qaradawi has said about infidels and sodomites, all designed to discredit a lovely honest and moderate man you see.
As the response from Private Eye points out, are all those official Islamic websites that praise Qaradawi’s misquoted comments just Mossad outposts too? Soon he’ll be suggesting that Islamism is just a construction of the Israeli state and all those loonies running around blowing themselves up are really puppets of the great Zionist domination of the world. Damn those evil Jews and their black hearts!
AS reported: “Tidal wave heading for England’s east coast poses ‘extreme danger to life’.” From Humberside to Kent is under threat:
A three-metre tidal wave is predicted to surge in the North Sea in the next 12 hours posing an “extreme danger to life and property”, experts have warned.
Coupled with storms and high tides, the wave could leave swathes of the east coast under water, according to the Environment Agency.
A combination of gale force winds off the coast of Scotland and high tides are expected to cause floods which could breach sea defences.
• Nine severe flood warnings issued by Environment Agency
• Surge expected to hit east coast in next 12 hours
• Police on standby to evacuate homes
• Dartford Creek and Thames barriers closed
Great Yarmouth is braced. If the surge occurs at high tide…
Stewart Wortley, head of storm tide forcasting, said: “The height of the surge we are expecting on Friday morning happens around once every 20 years or so.”
Not the first time then…
“In 1953, there was a 3.2-metre surge and also high tides and a storm. It’s comparable but we’re much better prepared now,” says an Environment Agency spokesman
The Al Goreans are ready…
AN iceberg is breaking apart somewhere off the coast of Argentina. Would you stand so close?
OIL or coal?
Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) — Now that the price of coal is at a historic low relative to oil, there’s no stopping consumers and producers alike from embracing Al Gore’s nightmare.
“Have climate scientists failed to tell us how bad the situation is to avoid being branded ‘alarmists’? Is climate induced instability the greatest threat to international security in the next 30 years?”
“A joint study by the Center for a New American Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies says that is the case. It suggests there will be more migration, disease and conflict.”
And so it goes. Anorak is compiling a running list of the experts who have opined on climate change:So far we have heard from:
European Environment Agency
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Center for a New American Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Anorak’s Polar Bear Monitoring Service
National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Thomasina Miers, MasterChef winner two years ago
The Social Democrats (German)
United Nations Environment Programme
Bill Patzert, a climatologist
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
US Army’s Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory
Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme
Joanna Lumley, actress
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Alan Johnson, Health Secretary
Greenpeace, urges us to eat kangaroos
Clinton Global Initiative, Bill Clinton’s project
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California
National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Colorado
James Lovelock, distinguished ecologist
David Bowman, pumpkin farmer
100 Ways To Save The World, a book
Philip Eden, weather forecaster
Hilary “greatest challenge we have ever faced as human beings” Benn, Environment Secretary
Friends of the Earth
World Conservation Union
Jon Copley, Southampton University
The Marine Conservation Society
DISASTER movies are back:
Oil is ‘the bloodstain of the earth’s economy’ and will soon trigger a global conflict that will cost millions of lives. That is the stark claim of a controversial new film, which says a crash in oil production is about to set off worldwide recession and economic collapse.
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, which opens in UK cinemas this week, shows stark images of rusting Texan and Venezuelan wells and fuel riots in Asia and Africa. Such scenes will be repeated thousands of times around the planet in the near future, argue the film’s makers, who say the world is facing changes ‘more frightening than a horror movie’.
The film is the latest of several polemical documentaries to achieve nationwide release. Others include Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Michael Moore’s Sicko, and the forthcoming Darfur Now, in which Don Cheadle provides a voice-over about the Sudanese civil war.
Someone call Gene Hackman…
Communities and Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears says:
“Climate change is an issue which impacts on everyone, whether you live in the country or in an urban area, as this summer’s floods showed.”
New Labour; Noah Labour…
IN The Anorak Forums:
THE one thing Europe in general and Britain in particular can turn up on a regular basis is the eccentric.
The out of kilter guy (or gal) with just enough savvy to get by without incurring too much attention to their foibles. The matador or pub singer who rolls up a handkerchief and sticks it in the front of his Y fronts (thong?) before strutting his stuff. Amusing and the shrieking fairer-sexed ones know it’s all in fun.
A bit more off the wall is one Steven Cooney, a driving instructor from Cleveland, the heart of England’s petro-chemical industrial wastelands. Before the complaints roll in: I have lived and worked in Middlesbrough and can only feel genuine and deep sorrow for those who still do.
Steven is a driving instructor who likes a bit of fun (he says). The problem being that bit of fun involved sticking a 12 inch carrot down his Y fronts and telling female students he was “really excited” about their driving success.
God alone knows what he would have stuck down/up in there if there had been a Bob Newhart driving instructor type accident. Rocket/Iceberg lettuce; pomegranates any one of a variety of soft cheeses?
There was a time when discussing the weather was viewed as the safe option, the soft focus view on life. War, religion and militant EastEnders’ characters best avoided. Will it rain?
Now the weather is a row waiting to happen. And surely the aforesaid headline will be met by a counter claim that the sun is the enemy, responsible for a myriad cancers and polar bears being trapped on slushy ice.
Of the story, the Express says that women, weather girls included, with high levels of Vitamin D are “biologically younger” (see weather girls). These women have longer “telomers” than those women with shorter “telomers”.
And a study finds that 87.1 per cent of Britons have too low levels of Vitamin D in spring and winter. The rest, those who jet off to Tenerife for winter sun – the beautiful people – are just fine…
If only the War On Terror had a celebrity element it would surely achieve the news coverage it deserves.
The Sun realises the problem, and introduces readers to Brian Tilley.
The ex-Marine was shot in the foot and then in the back by five men dressed as Iraqi police. It was an unlawful killing. Bournemouth’s sitting coroner hears the gruesome details.
Mr Tilley was employed in Iraq as a security worker. But he is best known to Sun readers as a “former bodyguard to Posh and Becks”. As the paper reports: “He was a close pal of the couple.”
And the headline: “Posh pal killed in cop raid.”
The WMD have yet to be found…
AS reported: “Microsoft has dismissed its chief information officer after conducting an internal investigation into a violation of company policies.
“The software giant did not elaborate on details of the investigation but said that the contract of Stuart Scott had been terminated.”
This is the biggest search term on Technorati. This is what geeks care about…
RUSSIA accused of poisoning Germany in Davis Cup match – pass the polonium 210:
German tennis star Tommy Haas revealed on Wednesday he believes he was poisoned during his country’s Davis Cup semi-final defeat to Russia in Moscow last September.
Haas was beaten in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 by Igor Andreev in the singles as Russia claimed a 3-2 win over Germany on the weekend of September 21-23 to claim their place in the final against the USA.
“I have never felt so miserable in my whole life as I did on the Saturday and Sunday nights in Moscow,” the 29-year-old told German agency SID.
“Of the eight hours I should have been sleeping, I spent six of them on the toilet.”
Six weeks after the incident, Haas says he is still feeling the effects.
“My stomach is still doing some strange things.”
It’s not football, is it…
AS reported in the Times: “On Monday, James Purnell, the Culture Secretary, appeared in avatar form at a Serious Games Institute conference in the virtual world Second Life. Hmm. Another example of James Purnell appearing to be in a place which, actually, he was not?”
For more on the magical Mr Purnell see here…
Remember Instapundit’s “thrill of rebellion” sensed among the British?
“We English men are quite unique,” says Rick Wakeman of the rock band Yes. “We all love to have a moan, but then we put up with things”, he tells the Bucks Free Press. “Like with the prices of trains. We moan and moan and moan – and then all get on a train. You have to take your hats off to the French: at least they know how to boycott.”
We do not burn sheep – we boil them…
SAYS Julie Burchill to the Indy’s opener “I wish people would take more notice of…: “Heroic people who are warning us all that Islam is the new fascism, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
ON the day of the Queen’s Speech, the BBC shows us “The UK’s top 10 most ridiculous British laws”:
# 1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%)
# 2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down (7%)
# 3. It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6%)
# 4. Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned (5%)
# 5. If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requires the use of your toilet, you are required to let them enter (4%)
# 6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet (4%)
# 7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%)
# 8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%)
# 9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (3%)
# 10. It is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2%)
POPE meets King Abdullah:
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Benedict XVI raised concerns about restrictions on Christian worship in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the first meeting ever between a pope and a reigning Saudi king.
Benedict and other Vatican officials have often protested that Christians are unable to worship openly in Saudi Arabia and are barred from opening churches in the desert kingdom where Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, are located.
Can you open a mosque in The Vatican state?
TABLOID Baby writes: The pilot pitch for The Michael Lohan Reality Project we brought you has turned out to be a hit on the Internet. YouTube, MediaBistro, Perez Hilton, and now VH1′s Best Week Ever see the show for what it is: compelling, hilarious and very edgy reality that’s even realer than it seems.
Alex Blagg writes:
Dear Hollywood Producers and Studio People,
I know you guys are busy right now rolling around in your money bins and wishing you were imaginative enough to think up new ways to f*ck over the writers who helped make you rich, but allow me to pose to you this modest suggestion for keeping hilarious comedy on the air without the help of the people who create it for you: look at this clip reel, and for the love of God, give Michael Lohan the reality show he so desperately wants. Who needs Jim & Pam & The Office when we can have this scumbag wandering around Hollywood with hookers babbling about Jesus, flying through the air with Bibles, and trying to “save Lindsay” by being a total moron? The most talented comedy genius on the planet couldn’t come up with this stuff, so this really couldn’t have come at a better time for you guys. Please, if you’re listening, put this show on the air.
PAKISTAN is reeling. And a look at Iftikhar Chaudhary, “The Hypcorite ex Chief Justice of Pakistan”:
I’m talking mostly on the basis of gut feeling but I am not particularly a fan of (now ex) Pakistani Chief Justice, and arch Musharraf nemesis, Iftikhar Chaudhary. Something’s very wrong with this guy, but I have no idea what.
First, there is this article on PakistanPolitics.net from an anonymous Pakistani lawyer about how Chaudhary felt completely free to flout the Constitution when it suited him. Excellent piece.
Second, is the fact that Chaudhary just issued an a ruling against Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order, yet had no problem taking an oath on Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order in 1999! This is from Wiki:
In January 2000 Chief Executive General Musharraf dictated that all superior court judges swear a new oath under the PCO No.1 issued on October 15, 1999, which had suspended the Constitution of Pakistan. After swearing an oath on the PCO Justice Iftikhar was elevated to the Supreme Court on 4 February 2000.
So what would make him switch completely to the other side? I have two potential theories, one bullshit and one likely.
1) This is completely conspiracy theory, but Chaudhary is Baloch, and between 1999 and 2006, Musharraf did kill a major Baloch leader (Bugti) and crushed the Baloch movement. Maybe he’s got some ethnic resentment?
2) In 2007, Chaudhary ruled against a steel mills privatization deal that would have benefited Musharraf’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’ friend. After this point, Aziz advised Musharraf to suspend Chaudhary. So there’s motive for Chaudhary right there. What I would love to find out more is whether Chaudhary’s cohorts were the alternative buyers