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Martin Lewis sues Facebook over scam ads; but who watches MoneySupermarket?

The added benefits of ‘money saving expert’ Martin Lewis suing Facebook for allowing fraudsters to use his name to trick money from people who trust him is that Facebook gets another kicking – good news for publishers jealous and wary of its power – and media-savy Lewis gets to be relevant. Lewis has built a very lucrative career advising people how to save cash. In 2012, he sold MoneySavingExert.com for £87m to MoneySupermarket.com, which runs an online price comparison service.

As the BBC reported at the time:

In the 12 months to the end of last October, MoneySavingExpert generated revenues of nearly £16m from 39 million users. Of this income, about 59% was earned from referral fees paid by MoneySupermarket.

It’s no mere tip-sheet.

In 2017, MoneySavingExpert reported:

Comparison site MoneySupermarket has been fined £80,000 after it sent an email to millions of customers who had opted out of marketing messages.

The story on MoneySavingExpert.com makes no mention of the site’s relationship to MoneySupermarket. Is that fair?

 

martin lewis

Martin Lewis at the top of a story that makes no reference to the fact MoneySavingExpert is owned by MoneySupermarket.

 

moneysavingexpert martin lewis

No mention of the sites’ relationship in the story

 

Promoting financial products is a lucrative business.

Lewis says Facebook earns money from the fake ads, making it is responsible for them. What’s odd and troubling is that Facebook, having taken the villains’ money, seems less bothered about punishing the crooks. How many of them just book another ad?

“It’s so distressing, when all my life I have campaigned against this kind of thing,” says Mr Lewis, whose face has appeared on over 50 different ads on Facebook, reports the Times. The social network does take them down – but as Lewis says: “It can take a couple of weeks and another one just pops up again. Why should I have to police this? Enough is enough. I’ve been fighting for over a year to stop Facebook letting scammers use my name and face to rip off vulnerable people – yet it continues. I feel sick each time I hear of another victim being conned because of trust they wrongly thought they were placing in me. One lady had over £100,000 taken from her.”

Someone invested £100,000 in a financial product they first saw on Facebook because it featured a photo of a bloke from the telly? What madness. No wonder conmen feel it’s worth having a go.

 

matin lewis fake ads facebook

An example of a Facebook ad using Lewis’s face – and his response

 

“I’ve told Facebook that,” adds Lewis. “Any ad with my picture or name in is without my permission. I’ve asked it not to publish them, or at least to check their legitimacy with me before publishing. This shouldn’t be difficult – after all, it’s a leader in face and text recognition. Yet it simply continues to repeatedly publish these adverts and then relies on me to report them, once the damage has been done.”

That seems fair. Why should the victim have to report the crime to the company promoting the scam and earning money from it? And what does Facebook do with money earned from these ads?

“It’s time Facebook was made to take responsibility,”Lewis continues. “It claims to be a platform, not a publisher, yet this isn’t just a post on a web forum, it is being paid to publish, promote what are often fraudulent enterprises. My hope is this lawsuit will force it to change its system. Nothing else has worked. People need protection. And of course, on a personal note, as well as the huge amount of time, stress and effort it takes to continually combat these scams, this whole episode has been extremely depressing – to see my reputation besmirched by such a big company, out of an unending greed to keep raking in its ad cash.”

Mark Lewis, a solicitor with Seddons law firm who is bringing the case, outlines the case:

“Facebook is not above the law – it cannot hide outside the UK and think that it is untouchable. Exemplary damages are being sought. This means we will ask the court to ensure they are substantial enough that Facebook can’t simply see paying out damages as just the ‘cost of business’ and carry on regardless. It needs to be shown that the price of causing misery is very high.”

A Facebook spokesman replies:

“We do not allow adverts which are misleading or false on Facebook and have explained to Martin Lewis that he should report any adverts that infringe his rights and they will be removed. We are in direct contact with his team, offering to help and promptly investigating their requests, and only last week confirmed that several adverts and accounts that violated our advertising policies had been taken down.”

Buyer beware.

Posted: 23rd, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Arsenal: full transcript of Wenger’s first press conference since quitting

Following Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over West Ham in yesterday’s Premier League encounter at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger appeared before the media in his first press conference since announcing his departure from the club. Is he reluctant to leave the club he’s graced for 22 years? Why is he leaving now? And what next for the Frenchman? The mood at the Emirate was a mix of reserved respect and apathy for a manger who was once the world’s best and a decent team peppered with mediocrity and journeymen.

This is the full transcript of it:

The Fans Were Chanting “One Arsene Wenger”. Some wore shirts bearing his name. 

I’m happy when our fans are happy. I’m even ready to suffer to make them happy. If sometimes, they make me happy as well then I’m happy. I’ll take it. Every single decision I’ve made in my 22 years is for the good and the sake of Arsenal. Even when it was the wrong decision, my one priority was to do well for the club.

I tried to influence the club on the structural side, on the development of the individual players and of course the style of play and results. To combine the three is not always easy and I believe that I will leave a club that is in a very strong position on all fronts. My target was always to do that and I give an opportunity to the guy who comes in after me to do even better in the next 20 years. That’s my wish.

Will He Pick His Successor?

No. It’s not my decision. I always feel that the most important thing in a football club is that everybody does his job. My job is to take care of the team, of the results and of the finances in the transfers. That’s what I did. My job is not to select the next manager.

 

wenger out stupid headlines

Not what he said at all

 

Why Is He Leaving Now?

I made a statement. That is basically all in it. Overall, I don’t think it’s the moment to come out on that. I would like to focus, to keep the priorities right until the end of the season and focus on how well I can do until the end. I will speak about that a bit later in my life.

It’s Been Emotional?

No, not really. It’s a mixed feeling. First of all I must say that I’m touched by all the praise I’ve got from all English football and I’m grateful for having that experience in this country. That for me is very special. The football is special, the passion is special and you’ll find that nowhere else. I know that I will not get that anymore in my life.

Of course that is absolutely special and the fact that I could see the development of the Premier League in 20 years is sensational. I hope that will last a very long time. After that I had the feeling a little bit [like this was similar to] my funeral because people speak about you and how you were, so it was little bit interesting on that front. I don’t need to die anymore because I know what it’s like! That is quite interesting but I must say, apart from a little sense of humour, I would like to thank everybody who has been nice to me. It’s our job because I certainly got more praise than I deserved and maybe sometimes more criticism than I deserved. It has been difficult but also fantastic.

 

wenger out stupid headlines

Nope – not what he said

 

When Did Wenger Decide To Leave?

It’s not the moment to talk about that.

Why Is Wenger Not seeing out The Final Year of His Current Contract?

I just told you a few minutes ago that I would talk about that one day but it’s not the right moment.

Will He Manage England?

If you’re speaking about emotions, that certainly would be for me emotionally difficult. I don’t know how well I will live without that so at the moment its difficult for me to say never. But at the minute I speak to you, I’m too attached to this club to say I would go anywhere else. It’s too difficult for me.

 

wenger out stupid headlines

Another ‘stupid’ headline

 

Has It Sunk In?

I will never completely leave this club, because my first look will always be for Arsenal and how well the club develops. I will always be attached, but it’s difficult. You do not give 22 years of your life like that. I gave the best years of my life to this club. I arrived at 46 years old and I worked seven days a week – not six or six and a half. Seven for 22 years! You cannot just walk away and say thank you very much and bye bye, it is absolutely normal. You cannot be on one side completely committed and after walk away like nothing happened – it’s impossible. I know I will face that challenge and that it will be difficult for me. But I had other difficulties in my life and I hope that I will get through this one as well.

Has His Leaving Galvanised The Club?

I don’t know. The club needs to prepare for the future and the earlier and more settled it is, the better. You cannot come in on 1 June and say look we separate now and do what you want.

Will He Carry On?

Maybe – I don’t know. It’s new for me. With Sir Alex Ferguson it was different, I agree with you. He’s still at the club though, he stayed at Manchester United.

Will He Hang Up his Big Coat And Stop Coaching?

Honestly, I can’t tell you much because I don’t want you to come back to me in six months and say that you lied to us. I know I did that a few times, but I would like to be definite today. I don’t know how I’ll respond to that situation.

What Arsenal Need From The Next Boss?

Look, you take me and take a guy who’s much stronger in every strong point that I have!

Is He Relived To Be Going?

No, because I was not tired, but I personally feel that this club is respect all over the world, much more than in England. Our fans did not give the image of unity I want at the club all over the world and that was hurtful. I feel the club is respected and overall the image we gave from our club is not what it is and not what I like.

The Europa League?

We will try you know, we play against Atletico Madrid and it is very open. Hopefully we can continue to have positives results until the end and then we will see where we go from there.

Did ‘Wenger Out’ Signs Hurt Him?

I have nothing more to say. I feel this club has a fantastic image and for me that is absolutely vital.

We can speak and speak and speak, sport is about winning and losing and you have to accept that you can lose games but it is about something bigger than winning and losing. For me that was always a worry, how the club is perceived worldwide for kids who play in Africa, in China, in America and the dream it can create for young children who want to play football and all of our clubs have a responsibility in that.

Did Anti-Wenger Fans Hurt The Club?

I’m not resentful and I do not want to make stupid headlines. I’m not resentful with the fans, I just feel if my personality is in the way of what I think our club is, for me that is more important than me. That is what I want to say, it is nothing to do with the fans, the fans were not happy I can understand that, that is my job and I have to live with that, I can accept that. I don’t know if it was damaging but it was not corresponding with what I really feel our club is perceived and has to be perceived all over the world. I travel a lot and this club is respected all over the world and that is down to work and as well to the way we play football, the way we behave and the way we treat people. I want that to go on and to be respected and give the image I think is right. There is a lot of money in the game but above that is more than money, more than results, it is the way a club is perceived and the example a club gives all over the world.

He’ll tell us more about his departure later – you know, when his book comes out.

Posted: 23rd, April 2018 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Pray for broken Arsenal ‘star’ Mohamed Elneny

So how was Arsenal’s “star” player Mohamed Elneny injured playing against West Ham?

The Express: “Elneny crumpled to the floor after a challenge from Mark Noble, and caused a lengthy delay as he received treatment…. The Egyptian star was visibly devastated by the incident which could have put his World Cup participation under threat.”

Bad foul, then? And he’s out for weeks?

The Sun: “Arsenal ace Mohamed Elneny in tears on stretcher with ankle in brace and fears World Cup hopes could be dashed.” It’s the Egyptian’s “Injury El”. It “appeared to be a freak injury in a challenge for a high ball with Mark Noble”.

A freak injury! Will he walk again? “There was no word whether Elneny had broken any bones. Although he will need to go for scans on his ankle ligaments and an A-Ray to confirm there are not any broken limbs.”

He’s broken his leg? His arm? His arms and legs?

No.

“It’s an ankle problem that is very painful,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after the game. “Overall I believe that we have to wait until the X-ray to know a little more about it. But Thursday will be too soon for him.”

Why mention broken limbs?

And now for an update on Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of Thursday’s Europa League match at the Emirates.

“Jack had a training session today and he looked positive so he has a good chance to be available for Thursday. Ozil was sickness so I cannot tell you much more about that. We will have to see how he recovers tomorrow. But Mkhitaryan won’t be available on Thursday.”

That would be the Mkhitaryan who is now back in training and of whom the papers said two weeks ago: “Henrikh Mkhitaryan could miss rest of Arsenal season with knee injury” (Daily Telegraph) and “Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan could miss rest of the season after fears of knee ligament damage” (Daily Mirror).

Anyone else thing Ozil and Wilshere are just being rested for the game with Atletico Madrid, Mkhitaryan is not being rushed back so that he can play in the second leg in Spain and – well, Elneny – pray for him. Sky says he “rolled his ankle”.

They shoot horses…

Posted: 22nd, April 2018 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


What do 10,068 radiated turtles in a small home smell like?

What do 10,068 live radiated turtles in a two-floor home smell like? It was the stench that alerted the authorities to the home in Toliara, Madagascar. Soary Randrianjafizanaka, of the country’s environmental protection agency, the home was stuffed with the critters.The smell was “overwhelming”. But not in a lip-licking way – unless you enjoy the stink of urine and worse.

 

radiated turtle

 

 

National Geographic has more:

Randrianjafizanaka helped count them as rescuers loaded them onto six trucks that made several trips to Le Village Des Tortues (Turtle Village in French), a private wildlife rehabilitation facility in Ifaty, 18 miles north of Toliara. It took until early the following morning to transfer all the tortoises to the rescue center.

Turtle village?

The majority of the turtles taken to the rehabilitation facility are doing well, now that they’ve been cleaned up, moved into more suitable quarters, and provided with veterinary care. Unfortunately, close to 600 of the turtles have died since being removed from the house, due to dehydration or infection – the result of their long neglect.

Trading in rare turtles is outlawed in 182 countries.

“The rate of hunting of radiated tortoises is similar to the hunting pressure on American bison during the early 19th century, where they were nearly hunted to extinction when they once numbered in the tens of millions,” said Brian D. Horne, turtle conservation coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Species Program.

Of course, once upon a time, Westerners loved eating turtle. And if it was a local source of meat, surely many of us would eat them now. This story illustrates how something illegal creates a risky black market.

It wasn’t ever so:

During the Great Depression, gopher tortoises became such an important source of meat for rural Southerners that they earned a new nickname, “Hoover chicken” that honored, so to speak, our president at the time, Herbert Hoover. That species is now federally threatenedin Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama, and is under protection everywhere it occurs. Diamondback terrapins, the beautifully patterned turtles inhabiting brackish waters along the East Coast, were harvested so heavily for food that the U.S. government started to get concerned about their vastly depleted populations more than 100 years ago.

Turtle is food for the masses:

For centuries, the flavor was legendary, and, really, nothing said American democracy like turtle. The poor man could often find a few slow-moving specimens hanging out at the backyard well, even as the privileged man sought out its refined flavor. Two days after voting for independence in Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776, John Adams celebrated with a bowl of turtle soup; when the war was over, George Washington met with his officers at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan for a farewell frolic; and Lincoln celebrated his second inaugural with terrapin stew. Before Aaron Burr murdered Alexander Hamilton, both were members of the elite Hoboken Turtle Club.

More turtles is desirable, then. Let’s get farming…

Posted: 22nd, April 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Arsenal: sacked Wenger gets £11m compensation

Arsenal are paying Arsene Wenger – get this – £11m to leave at the end of the season. Well, so says the Sun. It’s pretty much what he would have earned for the final year of his contract – which implies he was more pushed than we realise.

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov said: “It’s a day of great sadness.” But it isn’t for the club’ s fans how have been watching Wenger’s ‘end of an era’ football for years. His years of changing things and winning the league have long departed. His aura of menace vanished years go. Usmanov’s emotions maybe more to do with his lack of control over hiring and firing at the club that despite his big stake won’t give him a seat on the board.

The decision to let the always classy Wenger go was Stan Kroenke’s, Arsenal’s absentee owner who fears that another season without Champions League cash and all those fat dividends will hurt his huge bank balance – and reduce the club’s value. And then season ticket renewal time is looming. Last season Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal’s CEO,  handed Wenger another two-year contract, a move possessed of a lazy pragmatism; if not Wenger, then who? Arsenal had no clue. Wenger has gone from mainstay to stop gap. Gazidis blathered about another two years of the same old being a “catalyst for change”. Change came: Arsenal got worse.

So what next? The paper talks is of familiar faces: Juventus boss Max Allegri; ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique; Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers; and gun-for-hire Carlo Ancelotti. None of them excite the fans. They all represent playing it safe – people who have managed at big clubs and done well.

But Arsenal need bravery and courage. They need to get the figure who inspires. Why no Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim, a man who manages a team ever other club wants to recruit from? Be brave, Arsenal. Give the fans something complicated, daring and new to be intrigued and interested by. Give us new forms of keep-fit and training; give us new ways for players to express themselves; give us an end to the culture of playing “a little bit with the handbrake on’; give us a team of skilled tough-nuts and fighters. Give us another Wenger – you know, the one who should have gone in 2008!

Posted: 21st, April 2018 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Arsenal: Wenger gives a ‘heavy hint’ he’ll stay

The Daily Mirror has been guessing about the timing of Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal for so long, the feeling was that eventually the paper would get it right. The “WE told you so!” headlines would mask the myriad times when the paper got it utterly wrong.

 

daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

 

So how did the ‘intelligent tabloid” report on Wenger and Arsenal on the very day when he announced his departure at his season’s end?’ Well, like this:

Wenger gave a further heavy hint he will still be at the Emirates next season when he insisted there were no issues with the Arsenal crowd, despite fans staying away in their droves from recent home matches

 

arsene wenger daily mirror

Daily Mirror fails to nail it – again

 

Ah:

 

arsene wenger daily mirror

In the Mirror on the day Wenger announced his Arsenal departure

 

Oh dear. Even a stopped watch is right twice a day…

 

 

Posted: 20th, April 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal: Gazidis outlines his vision for life after Wenger; he hasn’t got one

Ivan Gazidis, the hapless Arsenal CEO, has a few words to say on the identify of the next Arsenal manager. He’s no idea who it’ll be. He’s had few years to be bold, identify a target and get his man. But instead Gazidis has sat on his wallet and lazily rewarded Arsene Wenger’s decline with new contracts and empty talk of sticking with the same old representing a “catalyst for change”. Wenger has a year left on his current deal. Season tickets are to be renewed soon. Arsenal fear apathy and fans not coughing up. Empty seats don’t sell food and drinks on match day.

Says Gazidis on being asked who the next manager will be: “Someone who plays exciting and progressive football. But I think there is also a significant thing at Arsenal in how the candidate represents the club. We need to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values.”

Balls, of course. The only thing Arsenal’s hierarchy value is money. The next manger will be expected to secure one thing above all else: income that comes with Champion’s League football and a full ground.

Does any Arsenal fan think Gazidis has the nous to appoint a manager of vision, one for the long-term? “This has been an emotional day for all involved at the club,” Gazidis adds, “his achievements are extraordinary… there’s an affection for him across the whole sphere of football. Arsene changed the game, he set a totally new standard, to make art out of football.”

Art? Has he been watching the last few seasons. Unless Gazidis means that functional, boring art of the type that fails to inspire, the stuff used to hide a stain on the wall? What tosh.

Blessedly, Gazidis and the club’s absentee American owner Stan Kroenke have recruited promisingly. Gazidis adds:

“We have a tremendous amount of experience at the football club. [Head of football relations] Raul Sannlehhi has seen several Barcelona coaching changes and [head of recruitment] Sven Mislintat has been at Borussia Dortmund for changes while on the board we have those who have been around for long enough to see even changes at Arsenal. That said, no one here has been through a coaching change like this.”

The best thing about it all is that now Arsenal fans can say farewell to Wenger in style. The bad news is that the money men who have overseen the decline are still in charge.

Posted: 20th, April 2018 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Banning Russia Today would be as ridiculous as the bilge it broadcasts

Like many of you, I was disappointed when in 2012 Ofcom banned the Iranian state’s English-language mouthpiece Press TV. Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, revoked its licence for breaching the Communications Act, for running its editorial oversight from Tehran, a habit that contravened the rules. “Broadcasting rules require that a licence is held by the person who is in general control of the TV service: that is, the person that chooses the programmes to be shown in the service and organises the programme schedule,” Ofcom said. Press TV could run editorial form the UK or broadcast from Iran. “Ofcom gave Press TV the opportunity to apply to have its operations in Tehran correctly licensed by Ofcom and Ofcom offered to assist it to do so. Press TV was given the opportunity to make representations on Ofcom’s ‘minded to revoke’ letter”. Press TV has failed to make the necessary application and Ofcom has therefore revoked Press TV’s licence to broadcast in the UK.”

A few British journalists and politicians – George Galloway, Yvonne Ridley, Ken Livingstone, Lauren Booth and Jeremy Corbyn – were all familiar faces on Press TV. The Guardian says Corbyn “presented a call-in programme on Press TV, a propaganda channel of the Iranian government which was banned by Ofcom and which regularly hosts Holocaust deniers.”

Nick Cohen added in The Spectator:

By hosting interviews, Corbyn gives the propaganda the ‘credibility’ of a Western politician. It’s fascinating to hear Iranian democracy campaigner Maziar Bahari’s own thoughts on Corbyn, who he describes as ‘a useful idiot’, and goes on to say:

People who present programmes for Press TV and get paid for it should be really ashamed of themselves — especially if they call themselves liberals and people who are interested in human rights.

The Iranian regime executes gay people, democracy activists, Kurds, and orders the rape of female prisoners. But Corbyn is happy to take their money and aid their propaganda campaign. Watch the end of this clip as Jeremy hosts a caller who describes the BBC as having hosted ‘Zionist liars’.

A few highlights:

 

 

And:

 

Corbyn mural east london

Corbyn and ‘Yvonne Ridley/ – that one form Press TV? – both like the mural that Labour now says is deeply anti-Semitic.

 

Business Insider noted:

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn accepted up to £20,000 (about $27,000) for appearances on the Iranian state broadcast network Press TV — a channel that was banned in the UK for its part in filming the detention and torture of an Iranian journalist…

Corbyn’s final Press TV appearance was six months after the network had its broadcasting license revoked by Ofcom for airing a forced confession by Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari. Ofcom is the government’s TV regulatory body which sets rules for UK broadcasters. Bahari told Business Insider that while he was detained by Iranian authorities he was tortured and threatened with execution before he agreed to read out a pre-agreed script on Iranian television, filmed by Press TV…

Press TV is part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s tightly controlled broadcasting machinery. Its director is appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader — the state’s chief religious and political authority – which means that its output is often biased in favour of strict establishment ideology.

During the period between the year of Corbyn’s first appearance and his last, for example, Iran hanged at least 1,314 people, according to Amnesty International. It is a place where the rights of women, LGBT people, and religious and ethnic minorities are harshly curtailed. In 2011, the year of Corbyn’s third appearance, three Iranian men were executed for homosexuality. An Amnesty International report released last year said that Sunni Muslims and Kurdish political prisoners have been executed for bringing “corruption” to the world.

Press TV’s newsroom director, Hamid Emadi, replied:

“Press TV believes that Ofcom is the media tool of the British government – the same government that sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to participate in the killing of innocent civilians. The British government and Ofcom will not be able to silence Press TV’s voice in the UK.”

But it did.

And now the no less monocular Russian Today (RT) is in the firing line. And that too is a shame. If we want to see the bias, disinformation, conspiracy theories, barbs, slurs and propaganda broadcast by regressive foreign regimes, Press TV and the Kremlin-fed Russia Today are useful. Its presence makes us thankful for our freedoms in which a plural media let’s use see more not less.

But some want it banned.

Labour MP Stephen Doughty opined: “On Russia Today, can I urge the Prime Minister to speak with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to look at reviewing Russia Today’s broadcasting licence, and to speak to the House authorities about blocking their broadcasts in this building itself. Why should we be watching their propaganda in this Parliament?” Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says RT, at times, “goes beyond objective journalism”.

Ofcom has RT in its crosshairs. There are seven investigations into whether the channel breached impartiality rules since the Salisbury nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia that left both in a critical condition in hospital. RT says the British did it. RT says the story is “woven with lies”. So what? If RT is your single source for news, and one you see as operating at the vanguard of truth, you should loosen the elastic on your tinfoil hat.

The argument that Russia poses a unique threat to our way of life through its obvious bullshit and clandestine social media activities gives the country and its broadcaster too much credit. Banning RT and its laughable attempts to troll the West would only limit our world view. We know what nonsense Russia pumps out because we can see it first hand. It’s ridiculous stuff. Don’t ban it – that’s the kind of thing Putin and his goons do. Just do what most of us now do: ignore it.

Posted: 20th, April 2018 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Action comics Number 1 yours for a bargain $300,001

To the attic in search of a pristine copy of Action Comics #1 (1938). It’s the magazine in which Superman appeared for the first time. On the Heritage Auction website, the top bid sits at an impressive $300k. The auction house hopes the bid will soar to double that figure at its Comics & Comic Art Auction May 10-12 in Chicago:

 

Action Comics #1 

 

Form the auction house:

“This auction has a chance to be among the largest comics auctions of all time, if not the largest,” Heritage Auctions Comics Director of Operations Barry Sandoval said. “It will be in a vibrant city that is easy to reach from just about anywhere, and we have an extremely strong collection of valuable comic books that will draw the attention and interest of comics collectors from just about everywhere.”

Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages(est. $650,000+) is among the most coveted comic books in the hobby. The issue generates major interest regardless of its condition, and this is one of the highest-graded copies ever offered by Heritage Auctions. Ernst Gerber’s The Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books rated it “scarce,” and CGC’s census lists just 40 unrestored copies. The first appearance of Superman launched the Golden Age of Comics, and every superhero that followed is in debt to the character created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster (artist). The issue also sits atop Overstreet’s “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.

 

http://www.anorak.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Action-Comics-1-.jpeg

 

In 2014, a mint-condition of Action Comics No. 1 sold for a record $3,207,852  in an auction on eBay.

Spotter: Boing Boing, Flashbak

Posted: 20th, April 2018 | In: Books, Money, News | Comment


Spurs balls: Harry Kane is ‘greedy’ and ‘self-serving’ for telling the truth

“Harry Kane strikes to put Tottenham in front,” says NBC, which broadcast Premier League “soccer” to a US audience. The story continues: “Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son walks the tight rope on the endline [touchline] and lays the ball off to Harry Kane who smashes a shot into the goal to make it 1-0 against Brighton.”

But the need for controversy is all powerful. And so it is that the Sun can watches the same goal and cry on its back page: “Harry Kane claimed another goal in his hunt for the golden boot – despite not getting the final touch.”

 

the sun harry kane

 

What about smashing it in?

The Sun’;s scoop is based not on the goal but on Spurs’ April win over Stoke, which featured a disagreement over the game’;s deceive goal. The BBC reported:

Tottenham’s Harry Kane has been awarded Spurs’ second goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Stoke after a successful appeal. The Premier League goals accreditation panel had initially given it to Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen.

It said the decision had been reversed “after taking the player’s testimony into account and reviewing the match footage”.

England striker Kane’s tally for the season is now 25 – four behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

So when Kane scored in his next match, the Sun wanted to keep alive the controversy. The story is ridiculous:

His untypically underwhelming performances have suggested he has rushed back too soon from an injury.

Or as the Sun put it on April 2: “Tottenham star Harry Kane reveals he is fitter and fresher than ever after his cameo appearance in 3-1 Chelsea win.”

Back to the Sun’s story of April 19, in which Kane has been expressing a “downbeat demeanour” since his return from injury.

And that goal he claimed – the one the FA agreed should have been credited to him:

England’s star striker, football’s one bastion of decency with no skeletons in his closet and who is revered by housewives and vicars all over the country for being all about the beautiful game, is just like the rest of his greedy, self-serving contemporaries.

So let’s see the Brighton goal – the one Kane didn’t get the final touch on, says the Sun – the implication being that never did scored it:

 


 

Kane;s goal all the way. Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Cincinnati police are looking for a woman caught on video stealing a live Menelaus blue morpho butterfly

To Cincinnati, where police are looking for a perp caught on video nicking a Menelaus blue morpho butterfly from an exhibit at Krohn Conservatory. WCPO notes:

(University of Cincinnati biologist Stephen) Matter and colleague Patrick Guerra said the butterfly was likely dead by Wednesday, given its biological need for a warmer climate than the one Cincinnati has experienced since Sunday.

 

 

Round up the usual suspects:

 
butterfly thief

Posted: 19th, April 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Arf, Arf – Nigel Farage’s Kids Have German Passports

A lovely little story producing giggles among the Remainaiacs – Nigel Farage’s kids, the very kids of that arch anti-EU campaigner, have German passports. As well as their UK ones of course. This is, of course, producing more than a little mirth.

Nigel Farage has admitted two of his children have both British and German passports, which would allow them to take advantage of free movement rights post-Brexit, but insisted they feel British rather than European.

Nigel’s second wife is German, her children gain German citizenship that way. So far, so not funny. But that Farage’s second wife is German allows a little explanation of Ukip itself and the Leave campaign which led to Brexit. I can be trusted as a source on this, I used to work for Ukip, directly for Nigel, even stood as an MEP candidate for them.

We’ve no problem at all with Europe. In fact, rather like, even love, the place. The wines, the food, the people, the other countries, why not, many of them are fabulous (and then there’s Belgium of course, the rudest word in the known universe). Why wouldn’t we like all these things – and I speak as someone who lives in Portugal.

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Posted: 19th, April 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Corbyn exposed and isolated by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem

David Lammy told us that “when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas”. The Labour MP was talking about the ordeal faced by the Windrush children, transformed from British citizens into criminals by a lazy and callous immigration policy. Lammy was linking that story to what he sees as Tories pandering to racist right-wingers and Brexit. What, then, does he think of his own party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has called Jew-haters his “friends” and presided over a Labour Party rife with anti-Semitism? Ever the nuanced and slippery figure, nothing really stuck to Corbyn, not even the fleas. Until something did.

When Corbyn made a Facebook comment about a hideous mural in East London, the story shifted from being about his Jew-hating “friends” to his own prejudices. Corbyn offered his support to the mural’s artist, which many of us consider to be anti-Semitic in tone and subject. The then Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfar Rahman, ordered council officials to “do everything possible” to remove the mural, arguing that “the images of the bankers perpetuate anti-Semitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial institutions”. But Corbyn liked it and wanted it to remain on view.

That was 2012.

 

Corbyn mural east london

Corbyn and who could be his fellow former Press TV presenter Yvonne Ridley both like the mural.

 

In 2018, Corbyn said he should have looked “more closely” at the massive mural that covered the entire end of a building – the mural he now finds to be “deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”. Corbyn said “sorry” for not having studied the content of the mural more closely”. Tom Watson, Corbyn’s deputy, called the artwork a “horrible anti-Semitic mural”.

 

 

Hugo Rifkind adds:

Corbyn is also reported to have been a member of two Facebook groups, and perhaps a third, where such things were widespread. Did he never look closely? Above his comment is one by Yvonne Ridley. This, presumably, would be the journalist Yvonne Ridley, who once wrote that David Miliband was “a gutless little weasel who lost more than his foreskin when he was circumcised”. She also used to host a show on the Iranian PressTV on which Corbyn was a guest. Did they never speak? When Corbyn speaks of the “pockets within the Labour Party” in which antisemitism has occurred, what he leaves out is that, for the first 30 years of his career, these were the pockets he was in.

Yesterday, Labour’s antisemitism problem was debated in the Commons. Dame Margaret Hodge, 73, the Labour MP for Barking and the daughter of Jewish refugees, told her peers that she felt like “an outsider in the party I have been a member of for 50 years… I have never felt as nervous and frightened as I feel today at being a Jew. It feels that my party has given permission for antisemitism to go unchallenged.”

 

 

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said: “I have no words for the people who purport to be both members and supporters of our party, who use that hashtag JC4PM [Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister], who attacked me in recent weeks for my comments; they attacked me for speaking at the rally against antisemitism… who say I should be deselected.”

Ruth Smeeth, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, read out a message she’d received:”First job for Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow, expel the Zionist hag bitch Ruth Smeeth.”

Tom Watson was not sat by Corbyn at the front – he moved from his usual spot in the Commons to sit between Berger and Smeeth. He sees the problem. Do you?

Here’s Labour MP John Mann. He gets it. People are scared. Anti-semitism is rife. If you acquiesce to it, if you make anti-Jewish comments, if you don’t speak out when you hear it, if you turn a deaf ear to it, if you don’t think it’s worth bothering about, you’re wrong. It’s dangerous:

 

Posted: 18th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Manchester City in marketing horror show: two videos reveal the fantasy of being a fan of ‘the project’

Manchester City have won the Premier League. In case you haven’t seen these two videos, they provide a sobering contrast between fantasy and reality. Enjoy!

 

The Fantasy of Manchester City:

 

 

 

The Reality of Manchester City:

 

If you’re celebrating now, clap your hands – (who says that?)

If you’re extras for the UAE, say ‘Mike Summerbee?’

If you think modern football’s rubbish, shrug your shoulders.

If you pity Man City, pity Man City, if you pity Man City, well, you’re only jealous…

Posted: 18th, April 2018 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment


Manchester United Transfers: Paul Pogba touted to Manchester City and, well, anyone

Paul Pogba was going to be the world’s greatest midfielder when he re-signed for Manchester United. He’d become the pulsating heart of United’s post-Ferguson return to the top. Former United star Rio Ferdinand told us Pogba was “on the right track ” to becoming the best player on the planet.

“This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to,” said Pogba in 2016. Pogba, who left United for free in 2012 – joining Juventus, where he won four league titles – was coming ‘home’. United manager Jose Mourinho told us Pogba could be “the heart of the club for the next decade and beyond”.

The money was huge. Pogba was recruited for £89m. The Times heard that Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, was taking £41million from the deal. The same paper claimed Pogba was being paid an initial £165,588 a week by United, with an additional payment of £2.87 million for image rights. Reportedly, this season his salary was enlarged with a “loyalty bonus” of £3.46 million.

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Posted: 18th, April 2018 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Windrush children only became visible when they became criminals

At what point do you realise that the country thinks you’re worthless? Asking for a friend who came over to the UK on the Windrush on June 22 1948. The British government of the day invited her family to work in the country. They accepted the invite, and came across the Atlantic Ocean in search of better lives. In 1971, Commonwealth migrants were given indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

 

windrush rudd may

 

My friend and many like her are now being offered the chance to return from whence they came decades ago and have never returned to since – or else. The British government has been rounding up these workers from the Commonwealth.

Michael Braithwaite is 66. He’s lived in the UK since he was nine. If time spent in the country is a measure of citizenship, Mr Braithwaite is more British than Prince Harry and Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary. Last year. Mr Braithwaite, who worked as a special needs teaching assistant, lost his job. He was branded an illegal immigrant. ‘Albert Thompson’ (not his real name; he wants no publicity) has lived in Britain for 44 years. He was offered the chance to produce a British passport or pay £54,000 for his cancer treatment. He didn’t have the money nor the passport. So he went without. He was evicted from his home and spent three weeks homeless. Paulette Wilson left Jamaica when she was 10. She’s lived in the UK for more than 50 years. She was employed at the House of Commons, where she served food to MPs. Aged 61, the State threw her into Yarl’s Wood detention centre for a week and told she’d be deported. At the last moment, someone finally listened to her and she won a reprieve.

These people’s crime was to have never applied for a British passport. In its haste to clamp down on immigration, the Government decreed that all  migrants in search of work, housing or benefit must provide documents. But the Windrush children who arrived here on their parents’ passport and never applied for their own. This presented them with a hideous problem. From being British citizens they were are the stroke of a pen turned into criminals. Guilt is assumed. They have to prove their innocence. They must do this by showing official documents for each year of their stay in the UK.

Amber Rudd has now apologised for this horror. After much asking, Theresa May has finally has only just agreed to meet with Commonwealth leaders to discuss the matter. Until last Friday, the Government’s advice was for anyone worried about deportation to speak with a lawyer, placing the onus on the innocent to find the time and money to make right the Home Office’s egregious error and demeaning oversight. Hiring lawyers is often stressful and expensive – the cost becomes prohibitive when you can’t earn money.

But now Amber Rudd says she’s sorry. She says her department “sometimes loses sight of the individual”. Nonsense. They only do that when the individual doesn’t matter. They didn’t lose sight. They never saw them to begin with.

Rudd’s set up a task force of 20 Home Office wonks to help her notice people who have lived and worked in the UK for decades. That’s how valued my friend is  – Rudd needs 20 people to notice her contribution to the country. She only became visible when the State wanted to make an example of her and send her ‘home’.

Posted: 17th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Police investigate Rod Liddle for ‘language hate’

Ever hear of “language hate”? Rod Liddle has been accused of committing this new crime. In his Sunday Times column on plans to rename the second Severn crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge, Liddle quipped: “The Welsh, or some of them, are moaning that a motorway bridge linking their rain-sodden valleys with the First World is to be renamed. They would prefer it to be called something indecipherable with no real vowels, such as Ysgythysgymlngwchgwch Bryggy. Let them have their way. So long as it allows people to get out of the place pronto, should we worry about what it is called?”

Liz Saville Roberts MP, of Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru (PC), asked, “What legal defence we have in situations like this?”  She says Liddle’s words amount to “prejudice”. Given a platform on Radio Cymru’s Post Cyntaf programme, Roberts opined: “The two things in particular which incensed me were his attempts to belittle the Welsh language, and to compare poverty in Wales with England’s wealth as a first world nation as something amusing… We have to ask when we should put up with this and whether or not the Sunday Times cares about readers here in Wales. It is disheartening… it also begs the question what legal defence we have in situations like this. Whether you describe this as racist or not, it is prejudice and is being used against us as Welsh people.”

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Posted: 17th, April 2018 | In: News | Comment


Driver asks police to watch dashcam film after accident; video show driver committing crime

Xavier Inocencio Moran

 

To Royal Palm Beach, where a driver, one Xavier Inocencio Moran, is asking police to review the footage from his dashcam. He’s been involved in an accident and hopes the video will prove it was the other driver’s fault. The police see the video. And they see earlier footage of the 25-year-old drive using a baseball bat to cave in the window of a beauty store and hitting the store’s safe. Moran is arrested.

Two days later, Moran “allegedly threatened to shoot his brother with an assault rifle and pistol”. The Palm Beach Post. adds: “Moran and his brother live with their parents in Royal Palm Beach. During the incident, Moran allegedly pointed the gun at his father and threatened to harm his parents as well as his brother.” Moran then tried to leg it. Clapped in handcuffs, our hero ran. He jumped a fence and hid behind some bushes.

Moran has been charged with “two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of battery, resisting an officer without violence and escape”. Last Sunday, Moran was released  “under court-ordered supervision.” Which seems fair.

Posted: 17th, April 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Manchester United: The Sun buries the hatchet in Marcus Rashford’s Cane Corso

PHEW! For a while it looked as if Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United striker, was going to be given time to develop as a top-flight England footballer. But the Sun has reached for the hatchet, just as it did in 2017, when apropos of nothing it told readers about the “£30,000-plus Rashford spends annually on car insurance” and how he “splashed out £14,500 on a Rolex Santos wristwatch for his mother Melanie’s birthday”.

One year on and in “Manchester United star Marcus Rashford needs a reality check… he has the car, the gold and even the dog but is still just a substitute”, we get more spite.

The story begins: “NO wonder Marcus Rashford is confused.” No, he’s not confused because he thought making a career from a leisure pursuit was living the dream. This is all about the marketing, the hype machine that has turned footballers into ‘legends’, ‘icons’ and  – dread phrase – ‘role models’. So wrapped about a few photos and a video of Rashford advertising Nike tat, the Sun constructs the story of a man in moral decline:

They dunked the kid in gold paint, dangling a pair of their latest boots around his neck as part of another extravagant advertising campaign to promote their glamorous range.

Rashford’s presented as a slack-jawed, mentally negligible clothes horse. And he’s guilty. He’s guilty of not being the best footballer in the world and playing for Real Madrid:

This is not Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in his 11th successive Champions League match with Real Madrid’s last-minute penalty against Juventus at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

No. It’s Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford wearing “glamorous” man-made fibres.

When Rashford returned to the day job at Old Trafford, he was still a Manchester United substitute. He is living in a bubble, a cosseted world that will seem pretty cool to a kid who grew up in Wythenshawe… Nike are taking full advantage of that innocence.

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Posted: 16th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


There’s a car crash on BBC News whilst they’re covering Ant McPartlin’s drink-driving story

On BBC News they’re covering TV presenter Ant McPartlin’s drink driving story. The star is appearing at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court. There’s a car crash in the background:

 

 

In court, McPartlin, 42, was ordered to pay £86,000 after pleading guilty to drink driving – the fine is means tested and based on disposable income. He was banned from driving for 20 months.

McPartlin was over the alcohol limit when the car he was driving collided with two other vehicles in Richmond, south-west London. His mum was in the passenger seat at the time. Five people, including a toddler, were in one of the vehicles McPartlin’s cat hit.

McPartlin has 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – well in excess of the legal limits of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath.

McPartlin told everyone outside court:

“I just want to say I’m truly sorry for what happened. High standards are expected of me, I expect them of myself. I’ve let myself down, I let a lot of people down. And for that I am truly sorry. I’d like to apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.”

He got lucky. But, then, he’s enjoyed good fortune for some time. McPartlin’s huge fine was linked to his wage, which stands at £136,000 a-week.

PS – who gets the £86,000? It should all go to the victims, surely.

Posted: 16th, April 2018 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


How Bon Jovi created that Slippery When Wet album cover

Mark Weiss was Bon Jovi’s tour photographer during their 1980s pomp.  “I was 13 years old when he got my first camera. I was a kid growing up in Matawan, New Jersey, a suburb an hour outside of New York City,” he tells me. “We were a middle-class family – my mother worked in public relations and my father was a door-to-door salesman selling aluminum siding. It was my dad’s experience that helped me in my lawn-mowing business. He taught me: ‘Make them like you. If they open the door you have a chance. Connect with their eyes, then introduce yourself and be sincere. Always let them think you’re there to help make their lives better.’ And that’s just what I did.”

 

Jon Bon Jovi and Mark Weiss, July 1986 in Red Bank New Jersey

Jon Bon Jovi and Mark Weiss, July 1986 in Red Bank New Jersey

 

It gave him an introduction to photography:

“Soon I had a steady list of five customers a week. Still, I was always looking for more. One day I knocked on the door of a neighbor with a seriously unkempt lawn: ‘Hi, my name is Mark. I live down the street. I noticed your lawn is a bit long, can I help you by cutting it?’ The man told me that he cut his own lawn. I quickly responded, with a smirk, “It doesn’t look like it. Is your mower not working?” He gave me a smirk back and told me if I mowed his yard for the whole season, he’d give me a camera. Then he went back inside and came out holding a Bell & Howell Canon FP. It looked to me like it was worth a million bucks. I said, ‘Sure,’ and after a few cuts, he gave me the camera.

Now that I had it, I wanted to learn as much as I could about how to use it. My 8th grade year was ending. There was a photography class with a darkroom at my school and I asked the teacher if he could give me a crash course in developing and printing film. Everything looked so cool to me in that darkroom—entering through the magical, cylinder-like door, it felt like I was being transported into another dimension amid red lights, trays filled with chemicals and glow-in-the-dark timers. I watched in disbelief as a piece of blank paper transformed into an image before my eyes. The whole process was magical.

“Once the school year ended I was bummed that I wouldn’t have a place to develop and print photos anymore. Then on my 14th birthday – June 15, 1973 – my dad took me to Fishkin Bros. in Perth Amboy, the coolest photo store in the area. It was half hobby shop and half camera store—I used to go there to buy model cars and rocket ships. This time I was looking at studio strobe lights and cameras displayed in the glass cabinets. It felt like Fort Knox to me. My dad bought me an enlarger, and with the money I saved from cutting lawns I bought the trays, chemicals and paper. At home I used the bathroom as a darkroom. I had a new hobby!”

 

 

Fast forward to the 1980s. Mark is with Bon Jovi. The band’s album Slippery When Wet needed a cover:

“The album was done. Three-hundred-thousand copies, with Angela in her provocatively cut wet t-shirt clinging to her 34DD breasts, had already been released in Japan. Everything was ready to go in the US. But this was 1986, and the PMRC was in full swing. Record stores were telling the labels to ease up on the explicit content and imagery or they wouldn’t sell the products. Polygram knew they had a smash album on their hands, and they didn’t want to jeopardize that success. They also knew the music stood on its own, so we went back to the drawing board to come up with another cover. Mercury destroyed nearly 500,000 copies before they ever left the warehouse to be distributed in the U.S.

“Jon Bon Jovi had issues with the Angela cover as well. Only in his mind, it was more about the color of the border around the photo than the actual photo itself.

“Recently he told Howard Stern that his thinking was, ‘My career is over if we put out a hot pink album cover.’ But if the pink border was the problem, why not just take it out?

“I asked him what we were going to do and he replied: ‘I don’t know, but this is our last chance or the album gets held up.’ Jon arrived at my studio, walked inside and didn’t even say hello. ‘Garbage bag. Spray bottle,’ was all he said. I followed orders. I propped up the black bag and sprayed it with an oil and water mixture. Then Jon wrote the words SLIPPERY WHEN WET. As he was leaving he said, ‘That’s it. That’s their cover.’ He didn’t even wait to see the Polaroid. The next day I delivered the photo, and the rest is history.”

.

 

Posted: 15th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, Music, News | Comment


How The US Will Impose Russian Sanctions On British Banks

The Americans are really rather pissed off at the Russians these days. To the extent that they’ve decided to impose sanctions on a number of Russian oligarchs and their companies. Hmm, OK, well, that harms the Americans rather more than anyone else, right? Because it is those USians who cannot work with Russia, while the rest of the world is entirely free to do so. Sadly though, that’s not quite how it works. The secret is here:

A senior American official has warned that British banks will face “consequences” if they flout new sanctions against some of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen and biggest companies.

In words that are likely to cause concern in the boardrooms of financial services groups, Sigal Mandelker, under-secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said that US authorities would be on the lookout for any breaches of their Russian sanctions.

The penalties for banks caught doing business with those sanctioned could include heavy fines, as well as the loss of their US banking licence.

The way this does work is that the US claims authority over any business taking place in US dollars. They’re, well, just about right in this. People who swap cash dollars with each other aren’t covered. But anything which works through the banking system in dollars is. They proved this when they fined BNP Paribas billions for trading with Sudan. BNP is a French bank, Sudan’s not part of America either. There were US sanctions on not trading with Sudan. A French bank should not be covered then, should it? But it was and when caught it paid up too.

For the US says, as above, that transactions in dollars fall under US laws. The link being that in order to settle a transaction it will go through New York. That’s just the way the international banking system works. Transactions in £ sterling go through London, in Yen through Tokyo, in $ through New York. So, even if a French bank, in France, lends to Sudan, if they do it in $ then that’s a transaction that goes through New York and is subject to US law. Including those sanctions – pay up buddy for breaking them.

The same is true of these sanctions against Russia and Russians. Anything done in $ is regarded as being under US law. So, no one can deal with these Russians in $.

But it gets worse than that. For, obviously enough, this doesn’t cover people who deal with the Russians in £, or € or Yen. So, everyone can still deal with the Russians, right? Except no, and this is where the US gets a little controversial. For just about every bank even with pretensions to doing international business does some business in dollars, thus some business in the US. Meaning that they’ve got a US banking licence and a business in the US to protect.

What the US says is, yup, sure, strictly speaking our sanctions only apply to business in $ and if you work in another currency then you’re fine. Except that’s not the way we work, if you work in those other currencies then we’re going to have a good hard look at whether you can continue to do business in the US. And guess what, we bet we could find a reason why you can’t.

And that’s how the US will impose their Russian sanctions on British and global banks. You’ve sure got a nice US business here, be a shame if anything happened to it, wouldn’t it? The tactics of the Mob being used by a government, such a pleasant sight.

Posted: 14th, April 2018 | In: Money, News | Comment


Stormy Daniels vanishes from twitter; Porn Barron lives the dream

Stormy Daniels, the walking aide to masturbation who claims she was squired by Donald Trump –  and to whom Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid a big was of cash to keep from spilling the beans about Trump allegedly spilling his beans in the run up to the 2016 election – has taken to twitter. She seen something unusual – and she’s seen Trump naked (allegedly):

So we did. We searched ‘Stormy Daniels’ on Twitter. We saw the system cough-up some Trump-themed tweets. But we don’t see any tweets from the adult movie actress. Is this a shadowban? The Urban Dictionary explains:

shadowban
Banning a user from a web forum in such a way that the banned user is unaware of the ban. Usually takes the form of showing that user’s posts/profile/etc. only to that user; other users never see them. Considered underhanded chicken-shit behavior.

So much for the tech.

But does anyone else think Stormy would have made a better First Lady than Melania – considering the bonus that the couple’s son would have had embodied the American dream; you know, what with his being a real-life Porn Barron?

Posted: 13th, April 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment


Clickbait Balls: Manchester Untied fans are not wild about Depay

Clickbait time now, as we read in the Manchester Evening News about Memphis Depay, the Dutch footballer who joined Manchester United for €35,000,000 in June 2015 and on January 20 2017 moved to Olympique Lyonnais for €18.5million. News is that Memphis has been on the phone, a happening retold in the MEN story: “Manchester United fans sent wild after Memphis Depay’s cryptic Instagram post.”

Wild! Well, he is the new Paul Pogba:

Eager to avoid a Pogba-like scenario, when a young talent goes on to flourish elsewhere, United included a buy-back clause in the £22m deal that took Memphis to Lyon in January, 2017.

Why United wold want him is moot. Depay plays on the left of a front three or as a central striker. Where would he play at United? And talk of his United return is astonishing guesswork. The entire story is based around an Instagram post. Memphis is seen walking by a plane. He is on the phone. He writes: “Touch down in….? on the phone with…?”

Is the answer, Syria and Vladimir Putin? Or how about, Orlando and Mickey Mouse? Or how about the guess by ‘Georgeshap’, who noted: “Back in Manchester to get things back on track with United.”

And from that the MEN has its story.

And is buy-back clause is not as the MEN described it when he left for Lyons. Back then the paper told its readers:

It will mean a loss for the Reds who paid PSV Eindhoven £26.3m to take him to Old Trafford in 2015. Because of that United have insisted on a first-refusal buy-back clause and a sell-on clause should they choose to let him go elsewhere.

It’s not him United want. It’s a chance to mitigate the financial loss.

 

Posted: 13th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn’s free bus pass takes youth for a ride

If Jeremy Corbyn is to be the country’s Donald Trump – and by that I mean win the popular vote – he needs to work on that message of democratic aspiration. Trump turned desire for success into a cult. Corbyn promises us free bus travel for everyone under the age of 25. Trump gave us The Art of the Deal, his 11-step formula for business success and riches. Corbyn’s handing us a bus timetable, a little yellow book detailing how to get around for no money, featuring lots of waiting and scheduled stops. And someone else is driving.

In Corbyn’s world people over 60 – i.e. people like him – will be joined on public transport by the under-25s on free bus rides. Everyone in the middle will be made to pay to make the same journeys. Let’s call that group ‘the workers’. The 54-year-old office cleaner will pay to get to and from work by bus. The 52-year-old supermarket butcher with two children will pay to ride the bus. But the young, able-bodied man goes free.

Corbyn’s free rides will have the added bonuses of turning bus journeys into extensions of Labour Party clinics. It’s Glastonbury on wheels, where the old get to mingle with the youth. They can chat about stuff. The elderly man can tell the kidults about when he left school at 16, went to work and saved hard to buy his first house and car; the 23-year-old can show him their new iPhone and that meme about Corbyn sticking it to the – irony of ironies – privately-educated, well-paid, pale, stale and male home owner.

And what of cars, once the surest symbols of independence for the young and thrusting? Under Corbyn, the future is about bus travel. But he quite likes cars. After all, drivers will fund his £1.4 billion project. Sod the drivers, then. Those planet-mashers in their hatch-backs, vans and trucks aren’t worth the bother of trying to persuade to vote Labour. Tory scum.

This is, of course, Corbyn’s latest attempt to seduce the youth he wants to coset through life, or at least until the next General Election when they will all vote for him. Free university education and now free buses for them. But what of the elderly woman who’s paid into the system her whole life and is only using her bus pass because she no longer feels safe to drive? Why is something she earned through hard work and longevity given for free to a healthy 24-year-old who’s never worked? Why must a hard-working driver on their way to the building site be made to pay for other forms of travel that won’t help them in their working day?

Why does Corbyn view younger voters as more desirable than older ones? And why does he seek to get them through handing out freebies?

This is about trust. Corbyn doesn’t trust the young to see the bigger picture, consider the family unit and make reasoned choices. He views them with suspicion and derision – a feckless group of persistently needy juveniles who can be wooed to vote for him with free stuff. Sod opportunity, the economy, war, pensions, society, autonomy and all that aspiration. Just slide a voting slip in amongst the freebies. Corbyn’s economics is the stuff of hucksters, marketeers and looters. And he’s banking on an infantilised youth voting for it.

Posted: 13th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


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