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 Leicester Mercury has news: the Haymarket Shopping Centre has NOT cancelled Christmas:
As you were…
Freddie deBoer on the you-can’t-say-that moraliser who police free speech on twitter:
“It may be tempting to embrace the violent power of the state as the solution to ideas and expression you find hateful and ugly… Whether the elites that so credulously embrace the notion of empowering the police state to squash harassment like it or not. And it may be tempting to embrace the coercive power of large corporations to limit speech online. But I promise you: that power will also be used against you by your antagonists, who are opportunistic and learn quickly.
“Lefty Twitter might be obsessed with policing language. But they won’t actually get to do the policing themselves. Instead, they will hand that work off to the same broken institutions and corrupt authorities that they themselves have diagnosed as broken and corrupt. And that is one of these fundamental, existential paradoxes within contemporary left-wing orthodoxy today: simultaneously recognizing that we live within structures of intrinsic, intentional inequality and injustice, and yet forever ready to abandon that skepticism towards those structures when it seems convenient to do so.”
Free speech. No buts…
LONDON is now so expensive to live in, artists and creatives cannot flourish – well n ot unless they have family money to rely on. The youth are screwed.
There’s an established image in the collective imagination of the kinds of places artsy types tend to live: the painter in a Paris garret, the actor in a Brooklyn brownstone, the musician in a San Francisco Victorian, or the playwright in a fisherman’s shack on Cape Cod. It’s all very romantic. We currently associate these places with vacation destinations and cutting edge high culture so of course that’s where the avant garde would naturally congregate. But people forget that in their day these were the cheapest least desirable locations available.
These spots were economically depressed, populated by the lower working class, immigrants, “working girls”, and the substance abusers of their day. In short, they were places that respectable people avoided and where the authorities generally turned a blind eye. How else could artists survive without family money or the income that comes with full time employment in the mainstream economy? And where else could fringe elements of various subcultures thrive without inhibition from the dominant culture? It’s only after decades of anonymous incubation that these neighborhoods eventually became safe and vibrant enough to attract middle class residents in search of good food, nightlife, and tourist photo opportunities.
The bright young things move in. Then the gallery owners take a pitch and attract the monied crowd. The property prices go up. The place gets hosed down. Everything vital is now retro or artisan and 10 times as dear. And only the impoversish creative class moves to… the suburbs!
WHO has right of way on a bus: wheelchairs or pushchairs? No contest surley. Wheelchairs must win. Children can be carried. Unless you’re on an ATOS bus in which case the wheelchair user can bloody well walk:
A court will decide whether wheelchair users have priority over pushchairs on buses, but how do you decide who is more entitled to the space? In February 2012, wheelchair user Doug Paulley was not allowed to board a bus in Leeds because the wheelchair space was taken by a pushchair. The mother, not wanting to wake her sleeping baby, refused to move.
Paulley was left with no choice but to get off and wait for the next bus. That one was an hour away, and took him to the wrong side of the city. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “That day in February resulted in me not using a bus again for a year. I lost all confidence and couldn’t face it anymore,” he said last year.
“BASICALLY I went into a cafe, it’s one that I always go to except during the summer I’ve been sitting outside. It wasn’t great weather so this time I sat inside. I got to my table where I normally sit. I made sure I was out of the way of everyone else. Despite this the guy working there, he basically said to me you cannot sit inside because the customers have complained about you.”
So says Kelly Sawyer, 34, of her visit to the Star Burger in Sidcup High Street,
THE BBC has news of Rotherham, where the State turned a blind eye to child abuse. So far, no police officer, politician, lawyer or doctor has been arrested about their roles in the scandal. What we have is educated guess work – 1,4000 children were abused – a police force in full PR mode and politicians scrambling to be righteous and consign the horror to the past.
What we need are evidence and criminal trials.
Police in Rotherham tore up paperwork relating to one child sex abuse victim and stopped another from being medically examined, the BBC has been told.
Anorak likes to be objective. But do we all believe the victim’s claims? We do. They are too easy to believe.
One woman claimed a policeman called her a liar after she reported being abused aged 15, and the other alleges police prevented her being examined after she was abused aged 13.
IN the USA, where equiality rules, Minneapolis public schools have set a racial quota for discipline:
“Moving forward, every suspension of a black or brown student will be reviewed by the superintendent’s leadership team. The school district aims to more deeply understand the circumstances of suspensions with the goal of providing greater supports to the school, student or family in need. This team could choose to bring in additional resources for the student, family and school. . . . MPS must aggressively reduce the disproportionality between black and brown students and their white peers every year for the next four years. This will begin with a 25 percent reduction in disproportionality by the end of this school year; 50 percent by 2016; 75 percent by 2017; and 100 percent by 2018.”
Anyone think that just means less suspensions?
CAROLE Mideley has few sane words about the paedo panic. Last week a man was banned from Puxton Park park for being an adult male unaccompanied by a child:
We can be bawled out by security for filming our own toddler in a ballpool (legally you can photograph anyone in a public place, but on private property it is at the management’s discretion), yet serial child sex abusers ran rampant in places like Rotherham undisturbed. What seems to matter is being seen to be vigilant, even if it does amount to a hill of beans. Julie Spence, former chief constable of Cambridgeshire, recently said the force spent more on CRB checks than they did on real child protection, ie, tracking actual sex offenders. About 3.9 million such checks were carried out last year. Most will be vital, of course, but 843,000 of those were on volunteers offering to help with school trips, discos or reading. A friend recently volunteered as a helper at her son’s school but was told she hadn’t been “trained”. What they probably meant but were too polite to say was that she hadn’t been vetted for a paedo past. Worth remembering, meanwhile, that a CRB-type check would have picked up nothing amiss with Jimmy Savile.
HARRY Roberts, the murderer, is free.
A police killer who was jailed for life in 1966 for the murders of three unarmed officers has been released from prison. Harry Roberts, 78, was part of a gang planning an armed robbery when they were disturbed by the policemen in west London. He was released from Littlehey prison in Cambridgeshire on Monday, The Sun reported.
FREE Speech Watch:
Eric, a manager at a Chick-fil-A restaurant, made a list of words that he forbade his staff from uttering while at work. When someone crossed out “bae” he added it back on the list and wrote, “scratch it our & you lose your employee meals!”
Spotter: Boing Boing
MODERN romance features Aminah Hart who wanted her daughter to meet her biological father – the one who sired her by donating his sperm.
A British-born woman who had a child through IVF is engaged to the anonymous sperm donor she tracked down and later fell in love with. Aminah Hart, 45, an Australian woman born in London, only met her fiance after she had given birth to their daughter Leila, it has been reported.
She originally selected Scott Andersen, an Australian cattle farmer who lives on an island off the south coast, from five possible sperm donors because she liked that he listed himself as “happy and healthy”.
Aminah discovered his identity through a series of internet searches based on his name as well as his profession as a cattle breeder and his role as a Aussie rules football coach.
MADELEINE McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child in the news. Today the tabloids’ ‘Our Maddie’ is back on the Mirror’s front page:
The ‘EXCLUSIVE’ news is that there a ‘Brit Man & Woman’ are ‘NEW SUSPECTS’.
WHO are the world’s most persecuted minoroty, asks “Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim thinks he knows:
One hundred years ago, 20% of North Africa and the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, was Christian. Today, Christians make up 4% of the population. Much of that decline has occurred in the last decade. In essence Muslims are rendering North Africa and the Middle East free of Christians.
Take Egypt, for example, my ancestral homeland. In just the past two years, tens of thousands of Christian Copts have left Egypt. And many others want to leave, but they simply cannot afford to. Why they want to leave is no mystery.
On New Year’s Day 2011, the Two Saints Church in Alexandria was bombed, leaving 23 Copts dead and 97 injured. In recent years dozens of Coptic churches have been attacked, many burned to the ground. In August 2013 alone, the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters attacked and destroyed some 80 churches.
Unfortunately, Egypt is more the rule than the exception.
Hundreds of Nigerian churches have been destroyed in recent years, with especially deadly attacks reserved for Christmas and Easter church services, leaving dozens dead or mutilated. Churches have been bombed or burned in Iraq, Syria, and just about every place in the Middle East where churches still exist except Israel. Christian businesses have been torched, Christian girls have been kidnapped, sold as child brides or slaves, and had acid thrown in their faces for not being veiled. Anyone born a Muslim who converts to Christianity faces jail and possibly execution. The list of fresh atrocities by Muslims against Christians grows longer almost every day. Even in Muslim countries often portrayed as “moderate” — Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan — Christian minorities are under legal pressure not to build churches or evangelize.
IN the Us you can own a gun whilst blind. And you can drive a car, too. But if you want to take marijuana to alleviate stress or help relax your eyes, you’re a criminal. Hit and Run looks at the States where guns and pot go together:
A Reddit user recently posted a graphic called “The Venn Diagram of Cultural Politics,” showing which states allow at least some citizens to use marijuana, which states recognize gay marriages, and which do both. The chart got us wondering: Which places embrace the personal freedoms beloved by the left and the right? Where can you buy both a vibrator and a Big Gulp? Where can a gay couple not just marry but avoid a high sin tax on the cigarettes they smoke after sex? Where can you carry a gun while passing a joint?
The image below tackles that last question. If you include states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only, there are now 24 states that permit pot. There are 42 states where an adult non-felon’s right to carry a concealed gun is either unrestricted or subject only to permissive “shall issue” laws. Sixteen states fall into both categories.
MAX Clifford has lost his appeal against his eight year sentence for sex offences. The PR fixer remains in prison. His victims remain damaged:
Sky News has apologised over an error which led to one of Max Clifford’s victims being named in a recorded broadcast of his appeal… The woman, who has lifelong anonymity under the terms of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, complained to the police when she heard her name 17 minutes into an edited clip which went out on Sky’s website on October 10.
Sky took the clip down. But did you catch the error?
Sky’s counsel, Adrienne Page QC, claimed that the maximum number of viewers was five – including the victim…
Websites aren’t taking over the news business yet, are they…
NEWSPAPERS are dying. So are the readers who grow up with them. That’s tragic. But it’s life.
Print sales of The Sun dipped below two million a day for the first time in its modern history last month.
Average sales of the paper dipped 8 per cent year on year to 1,978,324 making it still the UK’s best-selling daily.
Publisher News UK is expected to release an update later this month on the progress of the paper’s digital subscription strategy which may soften the blow of falling below two million.
The Daily Mirror dropped below two million copies in 2004 and fell below the one million mark last December.
MATTHEW Williams: a look at reporting on the ‘cannibal’ who killed Cerys Yemm and then, reportedly, ate parts of her face. Williams was then tasered by police at a hostel in Argoed, Caerphilly county. Police hit him with 50,000 volts. He died.
The Sun: “Call me the wolf… I like to eat people”
DEPRAVED Matthew Williams bragged he was a cannibal in jail — weeks before he killed a woman and ate her face. An ex-lag who spent time inside with the 34-year-old said he liked to call himself The Wolf. When asked why, Williams said: “Because I am a cannibal and I eat people.”
Can we trust this ex-lag to be honest?
His ex-cellmate, who did not want to be named, said Williams was hooked on heroin substitute Subutex and had a feared reputation.
He said: “People say all sorts in prison but he seemed to mean it. He said he had already eaten someone. I put it down to talk — until I heard what he’d done.”
The Daily Mail aks a question about the Great British Sandwich:
Rightly, the death of the Great British sandwich (surely the hungry editor’s yell as a headline – ed) has been highlighted by the paper of record. A Great British traditional is being undone by foreigners.
Let’s take a look at the Great British sandwich in history.
THE Singh Project by British photographers Amit and Naroop focuses on members of the country’s Sikhs:
These intimate images highlight two very important symbols of the Sikh lifestyle – the beard and the turban (Dahar). The turban in particular is a representation of honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. Sikh men (and women) wear the turban to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh), and are also seen in this series brandishing a traditional Sikh sword (kirpan).
Originating in South Asia – primarily in India, Singh was a popular middle name or surname for lords and warriors. Meaning Lion (from the Sanskrit word Simha/Sinha), it was later adopted by the Sikh religion, and today is compulsory for all baptized Sikh males. The sense of pride connected with the history of the name Singh is evident on the faces of these men.
A CURE for Ebola could be in survivor’s blood:
A group of scientists including three Nobel laureates in medicine has proposed that U.S. health officials chart a new path to developing Ebola drugs and vaccines by harnessing antibodies produced by survivors of the deadly outbreak.
BECAUSE all adults are paedophiles-in-waiting and children are sacred (see all news for past decade) single men or women without children are banned from visiting Puxton Park, near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, in case they are paedophiles.
Matthew Richards wanted to see the falconry display at Puxton Park, near Weston-super-Mare, but was denied entry.
IN “X Factor rat got me pregnant at 16 and ditched me”, the Sun leads with “X FACTOR boyband star James Graham” and one Molly Ranger, whom he “begged to have an abortion”.
For those of you watching the X-Fator in cinemascope, James Graham, 18, is one of eight singers in the Stero Kicks. Like you we thought the Stereo Kicks were an advert for Top Man’s range from spring 2012. But they are in actual fact the X Factar’s foray into male voice choirs, aiming to plug the gap between the Vienna Boys Choir and Treorchy Male Choir with voices that wander between pre-pubescent highs and aged lows often in a single note.
THE Sun has a story about John Venables, one of James Bulger’s killers. Vanbles was a 10-year-old child when he killed the toddler.
Gary O’Shea writes:
A JOURNALIST is facing jail after exposing how James Bulger’s bloated killer Jon Venables got private fitness sessions behind bars. The reporter — who paid a tip fee to a prison officer — was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of plotting to commit misconduct in public office.
The story was a prison “source” telling News of the World readers:
“He [Venables] got very body conscious when he had to appear on camera on the day he was sentenced. It gave him the extra spur to improve his body image and he asked the governor for assistance.”
MATTHEW Williams news watch: a look at reporting on the man caught chewing the face of his dead victim Cerys Yemm at the Sirhowy Arms Hotel in Argoed, South Wales.
CANNIBAL killer Matthew Williams bit off part of his victim’s face after taking a huge cocktail of mind-bending drugs, a friend revealed. Boozed-up Williams, 34, smoked cannabis and took prescription drugs before injecting miaow-miaow shortly before mauling Cerys Yemm.
He pretty much took anything he could get his hands on, by the sound of it. But how did a man in a bail hostel get a woman into his room and so many drugs (he’d been released from a prison term for attacking his girlfreind?)
Convicted thug Williams, who was released from prison just weeks earlier, told pals he was hearing voices and hallucinating before savaging the 22-year-old in his hotel room.
One witness said: “Williams had just met Cerys and we all went to a friend’s house for the evening. He had an ounce of miaow-miaow on him and at some stage he injected himself… He was also taking large quantities of prescription beta-blockers given to him to help overcome his drugs habit when he was released from jail.
WITH Abu Hamza was arrested and Omar Bakri, the Tottenham Taliban, gone, the media looked for another gurning loon to represent the authentic face of extreme Islam. It ended up with Anjem Choudary, a man who lacks the horror of Hamza and the ridiculouslness of Bakri. He’s bit, well, meh.
Mr Choudary now says he’s ready to leave the UK. He tells the Times that he would have already travelled to territory in Syria or Iraq controlled by the jihadists if the police had returned his passport.
“I believe the world belongs to God and that one day, hopefully, the UK will be part of an Islamic State. Why shouldn’t I be free to travel to the khilafah [caliphate] and see what life is like under the Sharia? The passport . . . is a basic human right and I don’t see why I should have to give it up or have my movement restricted. I want to know from the Home Office and the crown prosecution service if it is illegal for me to travel to live in the Islamic State if I have no intention of carrying out acts of terrorism.”