News | Anorak - Part 494

News Category

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.

The Second Amendment

In a tight 5-4 decision, Justice Antonin Scalia stated:

“Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security and where gun violence is a serious problem,” Scalia wrote. “That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” […]

“The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns,” Scalia wrote. “But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”


Posted: 26th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

20 Reasons Not Live In Dubai

NO, not because it’s full of footballers

Posted: 26th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gay Marriage, Ray Comfort And God The Sparks

AMERICA and religion. Jeez:

The Atheist Worldview

“There’ve been several hundred gay marriages enacted in California in the past few days. Maybe a couple of thousand by now, I haven’t checked the numbers. And in the non-gay-marrying Midwest, they’re fighting floods, while in California it’s fair and dry. How is The Golden State managing to escape the wrath of your imaginary friend, I wonder?” Weemaryanne

Maryanne. At present there are 840 wild-fires that are burning at once in California, destroying many homes. The fires were started by lightning strikes. Guess who’s in charge of the electrical department? These are from thunder storms that have no rain. Guess who gives the rain? You said “while in California it’s fair and dry.” We are having the worst drought in our recorded history. Last year 1,155 homes were destroyed. You live in an imaginary world. I suggest you get out more.


Posted: 25th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Bynum And Weeks Undo The Bowtie

weeks.jpgNEWS from the advertorial pulpit that US televangelist Juanita Bynum and husband Thomas W. Weeks III, authors of Teach Me How to Love: The Beginnings, have ended their marriage in divorce court.

The official separation comes “several months after an altercation in an Atlantic hotel parking lot landed Weeks in jail on charges he choked and beat his wife”.

Weeks ultimately pleaded guilty to assaulting her and is serving three years’ probation.

She is said to have left the courthouse smiling. “I said from the beginning of this situation that this, too, shall pass, and it just did,” she said.

“It feels like a new day,” he said outside court, adding he still has a “special love” for Bynum.

Anorak was on the point of donating a lung and all future earnings to the couple’s Satan fighting fund but now thinks better of it, especially since all pictures viewed of Bishop Weeks reveal him to be man dressed in a pink or purple bowtie.

One cannot help but wonder if his tie matches his socks, and if it remains on throughout acts of coitus, bicycling to the vicarage and smoking a large cigar?

Other notable bowtie wearers are TV chef Keith Floyd, Louis Farrakhan, Robert Maxwell, Billy Bunter, Pee Wee Herman, Frank Muir, The Cat In the Hat and Batman’s The Penguin, a veritable rogues’ gallery.

We wonder if Bynum met Weeks when he was wearing a bowtie and, if so, whether she should have realised what she was in for..?

Posted: 25th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Brayden Simms: How To Save Money In Journalism

OH, Brayden, we’ve been there:

Back in March my month-long Heavy Thrifting blog chronicled my attempts to rein in my spending habits by at least 10 percent. Now, three months later, I’m again reaching for the budget ax.

But this time, there will be a couple of big differences.

First, I’ll have professional financial planner Elaine King by my side analyzing every aspect of my fiscal universe and advising me on the best course of action to help achieve my long-term goals.

Second, and more importantly: I’ve been laid off from my copy editing job at The Miami Herald.

The McClatchy Co., parent of the Miami Herald Media Co., announced last Monday that it was paring down its workforce by 10 percent. The Herald, in particular, has been tasked with eliminating 250 full-time positions, or about 17 percent of its total workforce. I’m among those workers whose jobs will disappear.

How to save money in journalism…

Posted: 25th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Modern Life Has Killed The Semicolon

THE Semicolon; is dead; ish:

When the Times of London reported in 1837 on two University of Paris law profs dueling with swords, the dispute wasn’t over the fine points of the Napoleonic Code. It was over the point-virgule: the semicolon. “The one who contended that the passage in question ought to be concluded by a semicolon was wounded in the arm,” noted the Times. “His adversary maintained that it should be a colon.”

French passions over the semicolon are running high once again. An April Fool’s hoax this year by the online publication Rue89 claimed that the Nicolas Sarkozy government planned to demand “at least three semicolons per page in official administrative documents.” Parliamentarian Benoist Apparu was in on the joke—”The disappearance of the semicolon in Eastern France is absolutely dramatic,” he gamely proclaimed—and linguist Alain Rey (barely) kept a straight face for a video calling Frenchmen to arms. Reporters were taken in, since, like every great hoax, it was plausible enough to be true. Le Figaro has proclaimed, “The much-loved semicolon is in the process of disappearance; let us protect it,” and there was even a brief attempt at a Committee for the Defense of the Semicolon—a modern update on the Anti-Comma League that France had back in 1934. French commentators blame the semicolon’s decline on everything from “the modern need for speed” to the corrupting influence of English and its short, declarative sentences. It’s a charge leveled for years stateside, too, with Sven Birkerts bemoaning the Internet’s baleful influence on semicolons a decade ago.

Has modern life killed the semicolon?

Wots a smcln?


Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Global Warming Quote Of The Day: Verlyn Klinkenborg

THE battle for the soul of global warming:

“Carbon footprint” is to your physical being what “soul” is to your spiritual being.

New York Times editorial board member Verlyn Klinkenborg:

Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Is Orgy Porn Obscene Or Normal

RAYMOND McCowen is on trial in Florida for distributing porn  – prosecutors say it is“obscene”:

In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.” The publicly accessible data is vague in that it does not specify how many people are searching for the terms, just their relative popularity over time. But the defense lawyer, Lawrence Walters, is arguing that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that interest in the sexual subjects exceeds that of more mainstream topics — and that by extension, the sexual material distributed by his client is not outside the norm.

It is not clear that the approach will succeed. The Florida state prosecutor in the case, which is scheduled for trial July 1, said the search data may not be relevant because the volume of Internet searches is not necessarily an indication of, or proxy for, a community’s values. [NYT]

Can the normal be obscene?


Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gaza Truce Lasted Five Days

DOES five days count as a truce?

Taking into account the paperwork, getting the message about, time zone differences, translations, reporting, TV appearances and loading the mortar shells, the Hamas-led truce lasted 9 minutes and 12 seconds, precisely:


Gaza truce shaken by rocket fire, killings in WBank:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Paul Sorene’s Anroak

WE don’t just do Anorak – we can write and edit for your organ…

Post a comment or Contact:…

Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (17) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

James Hansen’s Climate Change Prediction

CLIMATE Sceptic looks at James Hansen:

Apparently a number of papers are “commemorating” today the 20th anniversary of James Hansen’s speech before Congress warning of catastrophic man-made global warming. So let’s indeed commemorate it. Here is the chart from the appendices of Hansen’s speech showing his predictions for man-made global warming:


I have helpfully added in red the actual temperature history, as measured by satellite, over the last 20 years (and scale-shifted to match the base anomaly in Hansens graph). Yes, 2008 has been far colder than 1988. We have seen no warming trend in the last 10 years, and temperatures have undershot every one of Hansen’s forecasts. He thought the world would be a degree C warmer in 20 years, and it is not. Of course, today, he says the world will warm a degree in the next 20 years — the apocalypse never goes away, it just recesses into the future.

The end is nigh-ish…


Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Poldraw Plagiarism At Private Eye

OVER at Private Eye, they are using Poldraw’s images in a new and exciting way:

Regular readers of this blog, from what in internet terms probably is classed as “days gone by,” will remember a post I did on plagiarism and such in January this year. The latter part of it had an example of rather spectacular tracing of one of my cartoons by a Private Eye cartoonist.

One thing is for certain. The offending cartoonist doesn’t read this particular blog, because she’s been at it again in a cartoon for the latest issue – in an equally shameless manner. Coincidentally she’s copied a cartoon I did of Obama published in The Times on the same day as I posted the aforementioned post!

Rip off

Spot the difference?



Posted: 24th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Barack Obama’s Seal Of Self- Approval

YOU have to be vain to be ambitious in politics. And, boy, Is Barack Obama ambitious:

He has his own presidential seal – already:

Mickey Kaus said: “But unless David Axelrod is insane, the thing will never be seen again.”  Says a source at Obama’s press office, when asked if the seal would be seen again: “No.”

Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

AP’s Alan Fram And Eileen Putman: A Daily Mail Parody

IT’S a Daily Mail parody, right?

Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Feeling better?


Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gay Times In Jamaica

THE Globe and Mail looks at gay-hate crimes in Jamaica – without irony nor humour:

He is only 30, but already 13 of Gareth Henry’s friends have been murdered. Now, far from homophobic mobs in Jamaica, the gay activist says he no longer looks over his shoulder


Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Despots For Obama

NORTH Korea for Obama:

North Korea’s endorsement of Obama will probably draw comparisons to the unwanted Hamas endorsement of Obama. Hamas withdrew the endorsement after Obama spoke at AIPAC’s convention.  Fidel Castro, by contrast, took a more sophisticated and self-aware approach:

[O]n Monday [Castro] gave Senator Barack Obama an endorsement of sorts, calling him “the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency” while also berating him for his plan to continue the trade embargo against Cuba. “Were I to defend him, I would do his adversaries an enormous favor,” Mr. Castro said. “I have therefore no reservations about criticizing him.”  [N.Y. Times, The Caucus]


[Update: Well, that didn’t take long. Welcome from Little Green Footballs, Michelle Maklin, the Jawa Report, the unlinkable Memeorandum, and my good friend at Gateway Pundit. Regulars here know that I’m completely disgusted with Bush’s own appeasement of Kim Jong Il, but while you’re here, don’t miss the story of Esther Kim, an Obama constituent whose husband was kidnapped and killed by the North Koreans. Obama inspired her Hope, then crushed it with Change.]

What do they think he’ll do for them?

Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

On The Message Boards

message-boards.jpgON The Message Boards – Anorak’s look at comments on threads on Internet message boards:

How can we be sure our clothes are ethically made? (BBC)

Aside from underwear and socks, I purchase my clothes from second-hand shops or I trade my clothes at smaller boutiques. I primarily do this because it’s much less expensive, there’s a better guarantee on the quality (as it “stood the test of time”), and because I really dislike being “trendy”. I see it as an added bonus that I am not putting money directly in the hands of sweatshops but instead giving to charity organizations like the Salvation Army.

Tania, Denver, Colorado

WTF!? U meen it wasn’t a Dikkins costoom drama?

Arti Dodger, Mankchester

Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it’s bad quality. Some of the stuff these kids make is good, and cheaper than making it yourself. They do ok out of it, they certainly looked well enough on the BBC news. If it was made here in the UK, instead of it being £3, it would be £33 at least and I wouldn’t be able to afford it. If you’ve ever been to one of these retail outlets when there’s a sale on, you’ll see just how skint most of us are now in Labour’s dream world. Come on you kids get sewing!

Nigel Clark, Lincoln, United Kingdom

Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Lesbians Banned From Giving Blood In China

DISASTER in China, yet lesbains are banned from dontaing blood:

This opinion piece was written by Veronica Chao Lim, a Fulbright student researcher living in Beijing.

In the wake of the 5/12 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, heartbreaking earthquake coverage dominated every form of media, and it seemed the whole of China mobilized to help in the relief effort. Chinese people from all walks of life rallied to make contributions; people gave free haircuts to earthquake victims, troops were dispatched to distribute blankets and food, and student groups volunteered to teach classes to students whose schools and homes were destroyed. Yet some groups found their help unwanted.

On May 28th les+ magazine, a volunteer magazine supported by the largest lesbian group in Beijing, posted an article on their online blog called “LES blood donors, where are you?” criticizing a ban on lesbian blood donors during a crucial time. Gay men have been formally recognized by the central government as a high-risk group for contracting HIV, and are thus are excluded from donating blood. However lesbians are only excluded because forms listing groups prohibited from donating blood use the term “同性恋” (tongxinglian), an umbrella term for anyone who has been involved in same-sex relationships. As a consequence, lesbians are excluded even though they are not usually considered at high-risk of contracting HIV.

Why not allow lesbian blood donors to contribute to their country? A policy banning lesbians from donating blood on the basis of HIV prevention is nonsensical: according to some sources, lesbians may even be at lower risk than heterosexual men and women for HIV contraction. Currently semantics are the only reason lesbians cannot give blood.

But more importantly, should a donor really have to state sexual orientation when giving blood? Not all gay men have HIV/AIDS. Gay men do not have “dirty blood” but a ban on all homosexual blood donations sends just that message about gay men, and illogically extends it to lesbians. Donations of blood from anyone should pass through rigorous testing before they are transfused to patients. In China, poor citizens and migrant workers are also at much higher risk for HIV/AIDS contraction than wealthier citizens, but of course there is no minimum income requirement when donating blood.

This is not just a Chinese problem. In the United States, the American Red Cross bans males who have “had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977” from donating blood because they are statistically significantly more likely to have contracted HIV. Statistics also say that American black women are 19 times more likely than white women to have HIV, but of course black women are not uniformly prohibited from donating.

Statistics do not justify the formal banning of queers from donating blood, yet for many the ban seems logical and appropriate. Not only is it discriminatory to ban homosexuals from donating blood, it is problematic to prohibit anyone from donating blood based solely on the HIV statistic associated with their race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or gender.

Is it unfair to only use blood from lower risk groups? If you were in need of blood, who would you choose to receive it from?


Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mark Bowden On Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal


But nervousness was way too cute. The mood was grim. A great frigate of high-minded journalism had just struck its colors to the Tabloid Pirate. The once-mighty, staid, studiously gray, independent Wall Street Journal was now a first cousin to Fox (“Fair and Balanced”) News, Bart Simpson, the London daily Sun’s Page Three titty displays, and the deliberately outrageous New York Post. (Within months, the two U.S. newspapers would be hawked together on the streets of New York as a $1 package deal.)

“But I hope it’s also a day of excitement, because it is a new day in the history of this company,” Murdoch said, stressing the words new day. “We’ve come here to expand it, to develop it, and, where possible, to improve all of its products.

Will he?


Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Journalist Vlado Taneski Accused Of Planting Murder Stories


Police in Macedonia have arrested a journalist on suspicion that he is behind three murders he reported on.

The journalist, Vlado Taneski, is accused of raping, torturing and killing three elderly women in the south-western town of Kicevo.

Making news…


Posted: 23rd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Selling Booze And Jeans In Baghad

THE War on Terror is being won:

Khalaf is now thinking of starting up again. He stands and watches the steady stream of customers into and out of Jaguar, a liquor shop owned by a friend of his near the Green Zone. The floor-to-ceiling shelves are kept stocked with Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and a mysterious clear liquid in bottles plastered with the Hertz logo. Until a few months ago, buyers often had the storekeeper disguise their purchases, pouring their whisky into soft-drink bottles before venturing back to the street. Now the trade is brisk and wide open. It’s fueling Khalaf’s dreams of getting back in the business, maybe even opening a casino—one of those dimly lit rooms where Iraqi men sip drinks while playing cards or backgammon.

Iraqis aren’t merely boozing it up. Men are shaving their beards; women are wearing jeans and taking off their headscarves; couples are holding hands in public. Musicians and DJs feel safe to take more gigs at weddings and parties. In the grassy riverside parks alongside Baghdad’s Abi Nawas Street, young couples sit close on the new sod. Amin Hussein, 21, flips and spins, showing off some moves from the Brazilian martial arts he was forbidden from teaching in his neighborhood until a few months ago. (“This is an Islamic country,” militia enforcers warned him.) Hussein, a fan of rapper Snoop Dogg, says he’s hopeful about the future: “Now the liberals are stronger.” Other entertainers have their own devotees—”Shakira good!” declares 19-year-old Mohammed Mizo, who says he gets heckled less for his spiky hair.

How the cultural war was won…


Posted: 22nd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Morgan Tsvangirai Hands Zimbabwe To Mugabe

HOW’S this for democracy – Zimbabwe opposition pulls out of election

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he is pulling out of the presidential run-off because the vote would not be fair, handing automatic victory to President Robert Mugabe.

 If you don’t play you can’t win. No moral victory. Just no victory…

Posted: 22nd, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Tom Cruise Shows Beckham His Swordmanship


Tom Cruise has reportedly recruited Hollywood pals David Beckham and Will Smith to join him in his newest hobby: fencing.

The Mission: Impossible star is said to have built a room in his U.S. home for practicing his swordsmanship – and often invites close friends Smith and Beckham to join him in the sport.

I know

Posted: 22nd, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Miley Cyrus Has Some New Fans

MILEY Cyrus has new fans:

Miley Cyruspics in Vanity Fair may have been scandalous, but she should look on the bright side, because now she has a whole new crop of admirers! Only problem is, they’re felons.

Miley has received thousands of love letters from prison inmates since the magazine hit newsstands.

Men with sweaty palms can join the club here…

Posted: 22nd, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (10) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gus Is The World’s Ugliest Dog

AS Arbroath reports: “A three-legged, one-eyed, cancer-afflicted dog named Gus has been crowned the World’s Ugliest Dog at a fair in California.”


“Gus, a Chinese Crested dog, beat allcomers to take the title at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.”

“Owner Jeanenne Teed, from Florida, said she would spend the $1,600 prize on treatment for Gus’s skin cancer.”

So make it spread to his other eye, right? 


Posted: 22nd, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (13) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0