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THE Sun and other media have been tucking into the stgory of Ashya King, the desperately ill five-year-old taken from Southampton General Hosptial by his family and driven to France.
The Telegraph has taken sides:
A five-year-old boy with a brain tumour who was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors is being fed by a battery-operated feeding tube which will run out in the next 12 hours.
The “blessing of doctors”? Are the men in white coats now religious figures?
What of the rights of Ashya King’s parents, Brett and Naghemeh King?
Where are they taking him? Disneyland for one last bit of family fun before goodbyes are said? We don’t know. But the Sun makes a link between the boy’s trip and the family’s religion.
Hampshire Police says Ashya King’s family have “strong links to the Marbella area”. Are they heading to the Costa Del Sol?
The Sun says the family are “on the run”.
They are not criminals. But the language is loaded.
Readers are orderd To “FIND ASHYA”. This is a story readers can play along with. It’s interactive. He’s not yet “Our Ashya”, but give it time and he will be.
Superstar Michael Jackson is surrounded by fantasy as he stands with Snow White and Dopey, of the Seven Dwarfs fame on Friday, April 27, 1984 in JacksonÂs Encino, California home. The Disney characters presented Jackson with a one-of-a-kind display featuring the characters in a scene representative of the 1937 classic film. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)
“I was hit on as Pocahontas more than Mulan or Silvermist, & it definitely has to do with the amount of clothing she’s wearing….there’s always the family that makes grandpa or the dad get a picture alone & they’d whisper how pretty I was or ask when I got off of work. I’d get slipped the occasional phone number on a napkin… Back when Toontown was still in the Magic Kingdom, there were three Princess rooms. One Cinderella, Aurora, & Belle in each one. If all three rooms were operating, that means when the girls went on break, other girls would replace them. So there were a total of six Cinderellas around the area at a time. None of the guests know this because there are attendants to take them into each room, one group at a time.
“It’s a very cool operation… Cinderella is in the Parade, doing breakfast, lunch, & dinner rotation at Cinderella’s castle, & she is in the princess room. At Epcot she is at the Norway breakfast. She’s also in the night time parade. She’s also in the main stage show at Magic Kingdom. That’s at least ten girls who are Cinderella in one day.
“It’s awesome to think about the fact that you never see two together.”
If you fancy Minnie Mouse, contact the security guard for directions to the cheese shoppe…
WHY is the police looking for five-year-old Ashya King? And why is the media leading with the hunt for him?
Ashya King has a brain tumour. He was taken from Southampton General Hospital, where he’d been undergoing treatment.
He was taken not by a paedo or stranger. Ashya King was removed from the hospital’s care by this legal guardians, his parents Brett King, 51, and his wife Naghemeh, 45. The family took a cross-Channel ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg at 4pm yesterday with Ashya and his six brothers and sisters.
Police, who have a debatebale record when it comes to looking after chidlren (see Rotherham, Rochdale and Blackpool), tell media:
“We are working with our counterparts in France to activate their emergency child rescue alert procedures to locate the family as soon as possible.”
ONE of the most enduring lessons I’ve ever learned in relation to problem-solving is that nine parts or more of the solution lie in defining accurately the nature of the problem, and the causes of it, writes Richard North. of the story that gangs of men of Parkistan heritage have been gang raping underage white girls.
…there is a strong constituency which would attribute this problem entirely to one thing – Islam. Nothing else is of any significance or relevance.
This even mars this otherwise valuable report which attributes the motivation almost entirely to “Islamic doctrine”, despite it also noting the “hugely disproportionate presence of ‘Asians’, particularly those from the Islamic state of Pakistan”.
The point, of course, is that there is more than one common factor here. There is Islam and there is Pakistan. And, hidden from sight in the Pakistani communities prone to this behaviour is tribalism. While Islam is a powerful motivator and behavioural modifier, no studies of these communities can be complete without taking into account tribal mores.
Yet, in the report to which I refer there are 416 references to Islam, but not a single mention of the tribe, or tribalism in any form.
A lot of these communities, in fact, are Kashmiri, and many are Pashtun in origin. Any number of scholars have expended huge effort on understanding the relative effects of Islam and the tribal code of Pashtunwali, and the considerable differences between them, and for contemporary workers to ignore possible effects is illogical.
Other tribal groupings have similar “honour codes” and these co-exist with Islam, the religion often forming an uneasy veneer layered over the original codes, which invariably take precedence over Islamic teachings.
Understanding this, understanding how tribal communities work, and how differences in different types of tribe also affect behavioural patterns, goes a long way to understanding how some immigrant communities work, and what might happen when social disciplines fail.
It was this that I sought to explore in my Brietbart piece, observing that the failure of our police and officials to understanding these dynamics have contributed to the lack of early and effective action. Putting it altogether, though, at the heart of these matters is a failure of law enforcement and, beyond that, sequential failures of complaint systems.
Of these men that have committed so many heinous, I take them to be a cultural offshoot, locked in primitive, obsolete tribalism, to which fundamentalist Islam is but an overlay, a veneer.
This is an offshoot that hates and fears its own women, and then gets its sexual gratification from abusing the women of other races. It is a sterile creed that is going nowhere. It can destroy, it can cause endless misery, but it cannot build or create. Hence, I say, fundamentalist Islam is the religion of losers.
Their religion is attractive to them because they were losers first, and can eke out justification for their actions in ancient scripts. It is not the cause of their inadequacies. It is a symptom of them.
But, I conclude, their criminality survives and prospers, not because of their inadequacies, but because of ours – reinforced by that profound ignorance which plagues our officials and administrators. If our officials had had a better understanding of what they were dealing with, and then enforced the law, much of which came to pass would never have happened.
In my view, therefore, putting it all down to “Islam” is simplistic to the point of being dangerously misleading. We need to do better.
The newsroom at the New York Times is seen as editorial staffers work feverishly to prepare a Monday edition, in this Nov. 5, 1978 file photo. A reader-submitted question related to how newsrooms are alerted to breaking news stories is being answered as part of an Associated Press Q&A column called “Ask AP.” (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)
I LOVE newspapers. Working in a newsroom was, to me, the most exciting job I could imagine. And then it changed. I’ve been in many newsrooms and one thing holds true for all of them: they are so quiet. But the Times is trying to change all that.
To the surprise of Times journalists, a tall speaker on a stand has been erected in the newsroom to pump out typewriter sounds, to increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines. The audio begins with the gentle patter of a single typewriter and slowly builds to a crescendo, with the keys of ranks of machines hammering down as the paper’s print edition is due to go to press.
The development, which was described as a “trial” today by publisher News UK, has caused some bemusement among journalists, one of whom tried unsuccessfully to turn the sound off. The idea is one of a series of experiments introduced as The Times and other News UK titles have departed Wapping for new offices in the Baby Shard, London Bridge, South London.
When first blackouts were ordered, Seattle Times newsroom was blacked out by painting windows with black paint. Editors found that this was a little hard on the eyes, as the black paint absorbed most of the light. Next step was “de-blacking the blackout” Dec. 19, 1941. Blackened windows were in turn painted white on the inside of the glass thus making the room much cheerier to work in. (AP Photo) Date: 19/12/1941
The teenager who worked at a gun show where 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj accidentally killed himself while shooting an Uzi testified today he twice suggested the boy’s father pick a less powerful weapon for the boy to shoot.
But Christopher’s father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, insisted that his son be allowed to fire the automatic weapon, Michael Spano told the court. Spano was 15 at the time of the 2008 Massachusetts gun expo and was put in charge of allowing people to fire the 9 mm Micro Uzi, a submachine gun that fires 20 rounds a second.
Tips on keeping your minors focused on the targte are:
“[I]f children continually shoot the same bull’s-eye target, they can become tired, exhausted or bored. Sometimes they want, or rather need, to have fun at the range. That’s when it’s time to introduce other types of targets to change things up, so children have fun at the range.”
Release the pets…
Note: we meant that as a joke. But it tusn out the pets are targets, too:
Animal shaped targets
These targets are fun to shoot while sighting in for hunting season. They also come in handy in showing new shooters where the kill-zone is on an animal. Targets with images of all sorts of species are offered byBirchwood Casey ($12.70). LG and friends shot paper rabbit, squirrel and deer targets at a recent competition.
SO. We’ve all seen those videos of tossers throwing iced water over themselves: everyone from terribly famous people like Giselle Bundchen and Bill Gates to random Belgians standing under firefighting planes. But little do people know that this is one of the great examples of “small world” theory. A specialist branch of mathematics which tries to explain how the world is put together, how society communicates. Other examples include the Kevin Bacon game and an oddity called an Erdos Number. These sorts of examples are used to explain how news travels over the internet, among other things.
This ALS Icebucket Challenge is another example of this same idea: that while there’s billions of us out here we’re really only a few connections away from everyone else. It’s usually possibly to connect between two people in four or five steps: and it’s a very rate person indeed that we can’t get to in seven or less (think lost amazon tribes to get to that distance away from any one other person):
The challenge started with Charles Kennedy, a golfer from Florida, who was responding to a friend who told him ‘pour ice over your head and I’ll donate to the charity of your choice’.
AND the most hated word in the English language is… “moist”.
University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Liberman explains the thinking:
“[W]ord aversion is different from word rage, which is ‘where people get angry at jargon or slang associated with a despised group, or upset because a word or phrase is felt to be incorrectly used, or annoyed at language that they perceive as redundant, or overly complicated, or pretentious, or a cliché, or trendy, or politically incorrect’. That kind of dislike is more common. Grudges against irregardless, synergy, like, don’t go there, or retard fit comfortably in the word rage department.
HENRY Smith, a software developer, was working on a game called “Global Thermonuclear War.” He drew a scence depicting a nuclear attack on Washington. As you can see from the above image, it was a drawing full of details. The bombs is launched from somewhere in Russia.
The Guardian reports on what happened when the developer’s letting agency popped round to his flat and saw the drawing:
LET’S spare a thoght for the nine-year-old girl who lost control of her Uzi submachine gun and killed gun tutor Charles Vacca at a shooting range just south of Las Vegas. With the gun on “full-auto”, the girl fired. The recoil sent the gun over her head, shooting Vacca.
The girl was with her parents at Bullets and Burgers shooting range on vacation from New Jersey.
All right, go ahead and give me one shot,” he tells the girl, whose back is to the camera during the entire 27-second video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.
“All right full auto,” Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.
SMOKING is supposed to be sublime. Smokers will tell you that it is. Of course it’s bad for you.
Smoking [cigarettes] reveals the essence of appropriation–displays, in its most abstract form, the motive behind all desire to possess something, to own at all…The cigarette…allows us, in a symbolic act, to take into ourselves the world around us, the whole landscape that smoking a cigarette accompanies.” -Richard Klein
Smoking tobacco is great. The bad news is that your hobby will kill you. Smoking marks you out as a social pariah, hated even more than the fat.
ALL papers lead with news that 1,400 girls were sexually abused in Rotherham, Yorkshire. The news is full of chilling testimonies delivered by grown women. They talk of being gang raped when below the age of consent (some as youing as 11), kept compliant by drugs, gifts, drink and threats of murder against them and their families and being ferried about the country to sex parties. Some children picked up from schools.
The rapists were mostly gangs of Asian men. The victims were mostly white girls.
The police treated the victims with contempt. The council ignored the allegations.
Yesterday the leader of the council, Roger Stone, resigned his post because of what he called “historic failings”.
IN Vermont, Governor Peter Shumlin has noted the state’s heroin problem and announced plans to curb it. Will he stick all drug takers in prison? No. The dealers get nicked. But the takers get help.
“We must address it as a public health crisis,” the Governor said. “providing treatment and support rather than simply doling out punishment, claiming victory, and moving on to our next conviction.”
Under policies now in effect or soon to take hold, people caught using or in possession of heroin will be offered the chance to avoid prosecution by enrolling in treatment. Addicts, including some prisoners, will have greater access to synthetic heroin substitutes to help them reduce their dependency on illegal narcotics or kick the habit. A good Samaritan law will shield heroin users from arrest when they call an ambulance to help someone who’s overdosed. The drug naloxone, which can reverse the effects of a heroin or opioid overdose, will be carried by cops, EMTs, and state troopers. It will also be available at pharmacies without a prescription. “This is an experiment,” Shumlin says. “And we’re not going to really know the results for a while.”
IN the US, surplus military stuff ends hup in the hands of the police. And then they lose it:
“184 state and local police departments have been suspended from the Pentagon’s “1033 program” for missing weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines. We uncovered a pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles across the country, as well as instances of missing .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and 2 cases of missing Humvee vehicles.”
IF you want to encounter smaller spiders in your bed then move to the country; and if you love the big ones, it’s the city for you. Wired reports:
Something about city life appears to be causing spiders to grow larger than their rural counterparts. And if that’s not enough to give you nightmares, these bigger urban spiders are also multiplying faster.
The study’s authors collected 222 of the creatures from parks and bushland throughout Sydney, and correlated their sizes to features of the built and natural landscape.
They dissected each specimen back at the lab, and determined its size, health, and fecundity by measuring four attributes: the length of the spider’s longest leg segment, the ratio of that leg segment to overall body weight, the amount of fat on the spider, and its ovary size.
To measure urbanization, the authors looked primarily at ground cover throughout the city, at several scales, where they collected each spider: Are surfaces mostly paved? Is there a lack of natural vegetation? Lawns as opposed to leaf litter?
“The landscape characteristics most associated with larger size of spiders were hard surfaces (concrete, roads etc) and lack of vegetation,” said Elizabeth Lowe, a Ph.D student studying arachnids at the University of Sydney.
A Cambodian girl offers deep-fried spiders to travelers at the town of Skun, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, July 25, 2006. The town is the most well-known place for selling deep-fried spiders to travelers, who stop by on their way to and from the country’s northern and northeastern provinces. ( AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
THE ice bucket challenge works if you have ice. The rubble challenge is catching on in Gaza, where local polemicists are using it to illustrate their condition:
An appeal to garner support for Gaza which imitates the wildly popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge but uses rubble and dirt instead of cold water is picking up steam on social media. “I have to do something and to send a message all over the world about Gaza,” said Ayman al Aloul, a journalist who started the so-called Rubble Bucket Challenge on Saturday. When the 42-year-old discussed the idea with friends, some suggested that he use either a bucket of blood or shrapnel. “It came to my mind that it’s good idea to show the whole picture – how Gaza looks now, rubble, destruction, cement with sand, small rocks,” Aloul said.
A bucket of blood? Hamas could help with that. They smashed up the water park.
The text from the video tells viewers:
Hello. I liked the idea of the ice bucket challenge so I decided to invent the Palestinian version. We looked for a bucket of water; however, the use of water is more important than to empty over our heads. And even if the water is available, it is difficult to freeze it. And when we tried to make the Palestinian version, we looked around us [and] we find the place as you see. [Destroyed buildings and piles of rubble.] Therefore, I decided to use it, instead of iced water. This challenge is not for specific people, but for all people who sympathize with the Palestinian people. We do not ask for material aid. Anybody [who] wants to help should invent his own idea. We ask for solidarity positions, especially from those who have followers and [an] audience. We need these positions. [Gets rubble dumped on head.] We do not have water, but this is what we have. Perhaps I will not find water to wash up when I return home. So if you saw me dusty in [my] next reports, try to forgive me, and try to sympathize with us.
Us? Isn’t a journalist supposed to show and not tell?
Palestinian boys play on a water slide as others have a sunbath at a swimming pool in Asdaa city, Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, April 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Does that work? Do we really think there is no water in Gaza? Water is a hot topic in the region.