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.
Can we relate to ISIS? Yes, says Brendan O’Neill, we can because they are like the worst of us.
ISIS hates everything about the West. Except the nanny state. It loves that. (Top: ISIS anti-smoking poster. Bottom: European anti-smoking poster.)
Death to the smokers!
A born-again Christian regrets stealing vinyl from Out On The Floor Records in London’s Camden Town 10 years ago. The thief realised that his religion looks unkindly on stealing, so he parcelled up the goods and sent them back to the shop.
He slipped this note between the record sleeves:
“Dear – when I was a teenager, I pinched a few records from you, about 10 years ago. I became a Christian not too long ago and wanted you to have these records – I hope you can put them to good use. Sorry, with regards.”
The haul includes records by The Cure, The Smiths and The Stone Roses.
Let us pray:
In San Francisco, police have found 27 baseball bats tied to poles. The bats are studded with nails. Is insurrection in the air?
Sgt. Michael Andraychak says it’s “very strange”.
Is San Francisco gearing up for a fight?
Manchester United have been “ion red alert” for Cristiano Ronaldo ever since the player they bought from Lisbon said he dreamt of playing for Real Madrid and duly left the club.
Today the Metro delivers yet another Ronald-to-United story:
Utter balls, of course. Tom Olver writes:
Manchester United transfer target Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘clear’ that he will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season…
Clear. No doubt.
Ronaldo’s countdown at Madrid began long ago and the legendary Portugal international is now considering his options away from the Bernabeu, according to Spanish news outlet El Confidencial.
Olver ends his report:
United may face stiff competition from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain if Ronaldo does decide to move on next summer.
From being “clear” to leave, Ronaldo’s departure becomes an ‘if’.
Over on El Confidential, we read:
The fate of Cristiano Ronaldo, today, seems clear. His countdown as Real Madrid player launched himself long ago. Something privately repeated more than once, considering that the time has come to begin a new stage elsewhere.
Number of quotes from Ronaldo: nil.
Cynthia Robinson has died of cancer. The musician played trumpet with Sly And The Family Stone Roots drummer Questlove salutes her life:
… she wasn’t just a screaming cheerleading foil to Sly & Freddie’s gospel vocals. She was a KICK ASS trumpet player. A crucial intricate part of Sly Stone’s utopian vision of MLK’s America. Cynthia’s role in music history isn’t celebrated enough. Her & sister Rose weren’t just pretty accessories there to “coo” & “shoo wop shoo bob” while the boys got the glory. Naw. They took names and kicked ass while you were dancing in the aisle. Much respect to amazing CynthiaRobinson.
This video show Robinson and the Family in 1968:
Basil the elderly Jack Russell was out walking in Chapel Hill, Lincolnshire, when a shaft of plant got wedged up his urethra.
“He was walking like John Wayne when he ran back to us so I knew something was wrong,” says owner Jill Larcombe. “So I checked him and when I saw it I did a double take. I thought ‘oh my goodness, it can’t be’ – there was this stick-like shaft sticking three inches out of him. I tried to give it a little pull but he went ballistic.”
A vet, drugs and lubrication saved the day.
To Texas, where mother-of-three Mandy Wells, 32, tells police she “thought for minute that it was a bad idea” to provide alcohol and drugs to a party of 12-14 year olds but “did it anyway”.
Court documents allege Wells provided her “depressed” 14-year-old daughter and her pals with cans of Coors Light beer (is that alcohol?) and marijuana, which she loaded into a glass “Hello Kitty” pipe.
Wells allegedly confessed to, yes, letting the kids booze, and, yes, letting them get stoned, but she “kept them under control.”
These are the Calpol Kids who graduated.
Wells is being held in the Parker County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond. Her children are away with the social services and the fairies.
Upset at the long, long wait for flying cars, Arsenal have used a passenger jet to make the 14-minute flight from London Luton airport to Norwich ahead of Sunday’s game at Carrow Road.
The 115-mile journey from the club’s London Colney training ground to Norwich’s stadium would take around two hours by coach or train.
Plane Stupid, a network of grass root groups that keep tabs on the expansion of the aviation industry and help bring an end to ‘needless’ short haul flights, are upset. Intolerant Plane Stupid spokesperson Ella Gilbert tells the London Evening Standard:
Having lived in Norwich and Finsbury Park, I can tell you that this is a distance that you can do in two hours by train, without fuelling climate change. This is ridiculous.
Trains run on water and dreams. Fact!
I’m a life-long Gooner so I’m used to being occasionally embarrassed by my team, but I prefer them to wait until after kick-off before humiliating their supporters.
Don’t fly to Norwich, the Canaries aren’t worth it.
Presumably a match against a bigger team, say, Tottenham or Chelsea, is more worth it Have the helicopters readied. Driving is for the stupid…
When the Independent vowed to say no more on former reality TV contestant Katie Hopkins’s to-deadline polemics, we wondered if it would last. The paper’s story, headlined “Dear Katie Hopkins”, was an Indy manifesto:
“You don’t know us, but sometimes you retweet the articles we write about you. You might retweet this one, who knows. We’re writing today to say we’re ignoring you from now on.”
The open letter contained links to six Indy articles on outrageous things Katie Hopkins had uttered in other publications and social media. It was pretty clear that when Katie spoke, the Indy listened. But no more. That was then.
So how many articles has the Indy produced on Things Katie Hopkins Says since its open letter of September 25?
Answer : 26.
Why don’t they just employ her and cut out the middleman?
Taking 10-15 micrograms of LSD every morning can cure anxiety and insomnia. So says Dr James Fadiman:
People do it and they’re eating better, sleeping better, they’re often returning to exercise or yoga or meditation. It’s as if messages are passing through their body more easily.
Fadiman tells Vice:
‘This is total guesswork, but so many different conditions that I’ve seen are improved, it looks like it rebalances those pistons which are not in balance.
‘This may be in your central nervous system, it may be the brain stem, it may be that it’s improving function of mitochondria. One woman who had painful, crampy periods started microdosing and when her period came, she had no problems….
“But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day.’ You know, that kind of day when things kind of work.
“You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day. That seems to be what we’re discovering.”
“Madeline” is an LSD user:
“Microdosing of 10 to 20 micrograms (of LSD) allow me to increase my focus, open my heart, and achieve breakthrough results while remaining integrated within my routine. My wit, response time, and visual and mental acuity seem greater than normal on it.”
And, you know what, it might be safer than sugar, fat, carbs, and every other food we’re told to be scared of. Or not.
Can it be that Chelsea are ready to pay £45million for Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery? Yes, says the Daily Mail. It’s true! The paper declares:
“Roman Abramovich to break the bank for Bayern Munich star”
That’s lot of cash for a 32-year-old. Indeed, Matt Lawton says it will “break the bank”.
Well, not quite. Roman Abramovich has already lent Chelsea over £1bn of his hard-earned cash. So what’s another £45m between pals? And, in any case, he’s broken that bank before.
The story goes:
Roman Abramovich has told new Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay to make signing Franck Ribery his top priority
Only, Mr Gourlay is not the Chelsea chief exec. He’s not even on the board, having left his post last year.
By now you’ll have noticed that the Mail’s story from 2009 was wrongly republished on its website this week. But other newspapers, like the Daily Mirror, which replayed the news on its transfer blog, did not spot the glaring error.
ESPN told us: “Chelsea may make Franck Ribery Transfer Move”
The Guardian added: “Football Transfer Rumours: Franck Ribery Chelsea for £45m”
Yeah, just £45m, Guardian readers:
Neither Man United nor Chelsea ever did bid for Ribery. He didn’t sign for Arsenal, either, although the Guardian did say he would:
Such are the facts.
Samal Ziyad (not his actual name) has a tattoo on his arm. It says ‘Long live the State of Israel’. Ziyad, who serves with the IDF’s Bedouin Trackers Unit, is an Arab and a Muslim. He is also a proud Israeli.
He tells Ynet:
“Since I was little my father has encouraged me to serve in the army and he taught me that Israel is our country too. There were always Israeli flags at home hanging so they face outside and pictures of Israeli leaders were always up on the walls.”
Guardian and BBC readers, this is your nightmare.
The Times has issued a clarification of a poll that was first reported in The Sun.
Aside the glaring errors, the poll was, er, spot on.
If you believe in free speech, the idea that nothing should be censored, that nothing is unsayable, then you should defend Ursula Haverbeck’s right to liberty. Haverbeck, a far-right Nazi fan, has been convicted of sedition in a German court for denying the Holocaust.
Ursula Haverbeck is a deeply-unpleasant individual. Her repeated Holocaust denial makes liars of the ghostly murdered and the honourable living who vow to never forget the German-state’s industrial murder of Jews, gypsies and other Untermensch who fell short of the ideal. At 87-years-old, it’s unlikely she’ll read any more books, listen to the facts and change her mind. Her cherished bigotry defines her. And that’s the way she likes it. In 2010, a Munich court gave this racist a suspended sentence of six months for much the same offence. She didn’t stop.
The question we are concerned with is why her words constitute a crime?
Haverbeck has been sentenced by the district court Hamburg to ten months imprisonment for telling a German TV show that Auschwitz was not an extermination camp, but a work camp, that millions of Jews were not murdered. Perhaps she thinks they drowned in their own sweat? But let’s not now delve into the Haverbeck mind. We’ve seen books, films, bones, tattoos, scars and testimonies to know the inside of her head is a poisonous and cramped place. The German prosecutor spoke of her “hair-raising bullshit” and “fanatical blindness”. We’ve seen enough.
Our problem is with the State deciding what can and cannot be said. Haverbeck and her supporters should be out-thought in open debate, their twisting of history and perversion of the mighty human spirit shown for what it is.
But criminal? If expressing your beliefs is criminal, then what of the ritualistic way in which Halal meat is killed? Those liberal Danes want it banned, reasoning that slitting an animals’s throat is barbaric and far less morally right than firing a bolt into its brain. Denmark’s minister for agriculture and food Dan Jørgensen told Denmark’s TV2 that “animal rights come before religion”.
In 2013 the Council of Europe read a report by former Germany MP Marlene Rupprecht, thought it rather brilliant and passed a resolution stating how it “is particularly worried about a category of violation of the physical integrity of children, which supporters of the procedures tend to present as beneficial to the children themselves despite clear evidence to the contrary. This includes, amongst others… the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons…”
Hang the Jews’ covenant with God that makes circumcision a must. The rights of a cow are more vital than Islamic mores and spiritualism. Ban it all. The defiant can wait for the glare of the searchlight and the Gestapo knock.
Let us be in no doubt. Once you allow the State to tell you what beliefs are criminal, however well-meaning the impetus behind the purge, the result is the same: repression, censorship, division and an abdication of free thought and will.
You wonder who is playing God – and why we let them…
A survey in January this year revealed that women do read newspapers.
But how do newspapers report on women?
These are today’s front pages:
The only women on the front pages are either advertising trinkets or / and showing lots of skin. The Scottish Daily Mail bucks the trend by showing a mother and daughter rowing.
And the backpages:
Women in sport? None.
In “Why I don’t want Arsenal to go through”, the Mirror leads its posts coverage with the words of Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho.
Reader can think of any number of reason why the manager of Chelsea wold prefer another London club to fail. But the given reason that “stokes rivalry with Arsenal” is that Mourinho “is mates with Olympiakos coach Marco Silva”.
“I would always like English teams to qualify, first. They [Arsenal] are in a group where a kid friend of mine is the manager of Olympiakos and it would be fantastic for the kid’s career to go through. So I have to be honest and say that I would like the kid and Olympiakos to go on, and we know that Bayern go through for sure.”
And, er, that’s it.But Adrian Kajumba has an entire column to fill with this nonsense, so he ploughs on, using every tabloid trick to eke sensation form the dull:
Jose Mourinho admits he WANTS Olympiakos to dump Arsenal out of the Champions League.
He admits – as in confesses, finally, his innermost secret’s extracted by incisive journalism. He “WANTS” in capital letters because he WANTS it so very badly.
But Kajumba soon tires, leaving the rest of his scoop to Mourinho, whose words “risk riling” Arsenal.
“Even doing a bad group phase – because to lose at home to Olympiakos and to lose in Zagreb and to lose six points they should win is bad – they can qualify. They can qualify. It’s not my problem, it’s their problem, but the reality is first of all they can qualify and secondly if they go into the Europa League then they become favourites [to win it]. So I think they can have success in the Champions League by going to the next round and they can succeed in the Europa League because then they become favourites, so I think they have a lot to play for.”
And so having answered a journalist’s leading question on Arsenal with an easy, even and fact-based answer, the Express reports on “Moutinho’s Arsenal dig”.
Such are the facts.
To Osaka, where the Gallerie store is holding a “Fuckin’ Sale”.
Update: it’s been changed.
Anti-Semetic, Jew-obsessed French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala has been sentenced to two months in jail by a Belgian court for being an anti-Semite. A Belgian court says Dieudonne broke the law when he spoke at a show in Liege in 2012.
The Belgian court’s judgement rules that “all the accusations against Dieudonne were established – both incitement to hatred and hate speech but also Holocaust denial”.
Dieudonne is best known for his racist hand-gesture the “quenelle”, a demented Nazi salute. To say he has a problem with Jews is to put it mildly. He portrays Jews as the sum of all and any ills oppressing the goodly.
He’s an arsehat. He comes across as horribly unfunny, a right-on comic for brazenly weak victimhood bigots. Supporters are a mix of the conniving and ignorant, a composite blend of those who deny the Holocaust but think it a good idea.
But he should not a be a criminal for saying something. His is a crime against freedom of speech.
And that should be no crime at all. Let’s not be scared of words.
Arsenal need to beat Olympiakos by two goals or score three and simply win to progress to the knockout phase of the Champions League.
Statistics in football can be tricky to comprehend. For instance, tonight BT produced numbers on every Arsenal player in the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Dynamo Zagreb.
Just look how far goalkeeper Petr Cech ran:
Aside from the scoreline, all football statistics are utter balls.
Will Arsenal buy a new player in the January transfer window? And will that player take out extra medical insurance? The BBC says Arsenal have “dossiers of holding midfielders” should they need to replace the injured Francois Coquelin.
The Daily Mail says the Gunners have a shortlist of six players: Lars Bender, William Carvalho, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Lucas Biglia, Vincent Koziello and Nampalys Mendy.
Perhaps they will hire Genoa winger Diego Perotti, as Calciomercato reports they will?
Ian Wright says this is Arsenal’s important January transfer window for years.
Every Arsenal fan just shrugs and wonders how so many players can be injured so often.
Silhan Ozcelik is in a British prison. You might be outraged. You should be.
This is how the Islington Gazette headlines the story of the young woman who went to join the Kurds, the people fighting Asad and ISIS.
‘Feckless’ Islington teen convicted over bid to join PKK
A “feckless” teenage girl from Islington has become the first Briton to be convicted of trying to join the banned Kurdish group PKK. Silhan Ozcelik, 18, of Highbury Quadrant, Holloway, was on trial at the Old Bailey charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts.
The court heard she left Britain on the Eurostar in October 2014 and was arrested in January after getting off a flight from Germany at Stansted airport.
She left letters and a video for her family telling them she had gone off to try to fight with the Kurdistan Workers Party, the court heard.
But in her defence, she claimed that was a lie and she actually went to see a man she had formed a romantic attachment to in Brussels.
Young women, eh. In the thrall of hormones and dreamy guys.
The jury deliberated for less than a day to find her guilty and she was sentenced to 21 months in prison by Judge John Bevan QC.
Does that sound like a “feckless” teenager to you? Or does that sound like a very active teenager, a young woman who wanted to join the Kurds in taking the fight to the nihilists and nutjobs? US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters:
“We congratulate [Kobane’s] brave defenders. We’ll continue to support [the YPG and the Kurdish Peshmerga] as we look to the coming weeks ahead. This is an important step in the first phase of a long-term campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS.”
Oddly, the US also says the PKK are terrorists.
Meanwhile in the UK, we’ve slapped our home-grown, would-be defender in prison:
The judge rejected a plea for a suspended sentence, and told her: “You are a stupid, feckless and deeply dishonest young woman. You have lied to your family and this jury.”
If she’s stupid, what is he?
Before she left home, Silhan Ozcelik wrote a letter to her family:
“Believe me this is the right thing for me to do. I am so happy right now that I have become a militant… My fight, my struggle is not just for the Kurdish people, it is for all people, for all women. It must not be misconstrued. This is not a Kurdistan matter. Even if Kurdistan is established today I will not return…”
“The only people defending them over there was the YPG, the PKK. It was amazing, the fact that they were there and they were trying to protect innocent people – I just admired it.”
Is he feckless and clueless? Does he sound like a women without direction?
Asked if she regretted it now, Miss Ozcelik, replied: “Yeah I regret everything – it’s caused trouble for my family and everyone else.”
The paper hears from Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15). Just to recap: She was going to fight for the Kurds against the West’s common enemy.
“We continue to remain concerned about the number of young women and girls being drawn into all forms of terrorism. We urge parents and families to talk to us at the earliest opportunity if they have concerns about any girl or women being enticed into supporting terrorist groups like the PKK or Isil.”
The PKK or ISIL. One group wants a Kurdish homeland; the other wants your land, your soul and a photo of your decapitated head on a tweet.
David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, has a few words on the Kurds:
The Kurds of northern Syria, together with the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq, have been at war with ISIS since the latter rose up and declared their so-called caliphate. It was the Syrian Kurds and their Kurdish comrades in Turkey who helped rescue the Yezidis, after they had fled the ISIS onslaught to take refuge in the Sinjar mountains. It was the Syrian Kurds and their comrades in Turkey who liberated the city of Kobani from ISIS.
But the Kurds of northern Syria have not just been waging war. They have also been waging peace: creating new, democratic structures, declaring autonmous cantons; setting up schools, universities, hospitals. They have taken their inspiration from the Zapatistas of Mexico, who in their thousands retreated into the jungles of Chiapas and together with the Mayans created a new society, free from the oppression of the Mexican authorities.
In short, the northern Syrian Kurds have created and are living a social revolution. It is no wonder, therefore, that the authoritarian and neo-Islamist Erdogan Government of Turkey is doing everything it can to break the Kurds, including providing covert support to the Kurds’ main enemy, to ISIS.
In a recent article in the Guardian, Professor David Graeber of the London School of Economics stated how “Back in August, the YPG, fresh from their victories in Kobani andGire Spi, were poised to seize Jarablus, the last Isis-held town on the Turkish border that the terror organisation had been using to resupply its capital in Raqqa with weapons, materials, and recruits – Isis supply lines pass directly through Turkey.” Graeber added: “Commentators predicted that with Jarablus gone, Raqqa would soon follow. Erdoğan reacted by declaring Jarablus a “red line”: if the Kurds attacked, his forces would intervene militarily – against the YPG. So Jarablus remains in terrorist hands to this day, under de facto Turkish military protection.”
Read it all. And then wonder why Silhan Ozcelik is in prison?
Ahead of Manchester United’s Champion’s League tie with PSV, the Independent has news:
Champions League: Manchester United’s injury woes continue to mount for PSV visit
United fans will see that headline. Worry. And click.
They will arrive at the Indy’s website, and we told:
Champions League: Manchester United’s injury woes continue to mount for PSV visit
Yes, yes. And in small print:
There is some hope that Rooney, Martial and Mata will be fit to face PSV
A headline on mounting injury woes turns out to be news that three top players are in line for a return to the fist XI.
The Independent is so independent of thought its writers contradict each other freely. Sometimes they ever contradict themselves in the space of a few minutes. Today the paper has NINE stories on Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
David Ward writes:
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Alex Ferguson ‘99% sure’ forward will return to Old Trafford, says Patrice Evra
Writes David Ward:
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Real Madrid star will not leave Bernabeu, claims agent Jorge Mendes
Those November 24 scoops in full: 100% says Ronaldo stays; 99% says Ronaldo leaves.
Such are the facts in the trusty Independent.
Aston Villa footballer Jack Grealish went out and enjoyed himself his Aston Villa side lost 4-0 to Everton. This leads the Daily Mail’s sports news.
The facts in David Kent’s report are damning:
The midfielder is then believed to have gone to Manchester nightclub Panacea with friends
Video footage shows Grealish singing into the camera before champagne and sparklers arrive at table
Jack Grealish is over the minimum age for drinking. He might be too old for sparklers, which are also own as ‘Hippy Central Heating’.
Also in the video, it appears ‘hippy crack’ is being taken through balloons by the 20-year-old’s friends
Hippy crack is also known as laughing gas. Actual hippies most likely stick with LSD and ‘shrooms.
To recap: all David Kent knows is that Jack Grealish is in photo.
The story continues:
He then travelled home to Birmingham and hosted a gathering involving two blonde women at the Malmaison in the city centre.
There is no suggestion that Grealish was inhaling from balloons or in any other way and he trained on Monday with the rest of Villa’s squad at Bodymoor Heath.
And that’s it.
You will remember Clock Boy, one Ahmed Mohamed. He was arrested after teachers at his Texas school thought the homemade clock he’d brought to class looked like a bomb.
Ahmed and his family have been living in the enlightened and fair society of Qatar since the incident, where the clock is always set to ‘Pre-Enlightenment”.
Well, he’s back. And for his pain and suffering, Ahmed wants seeking $15m (£10m) from his city and school. Ahmed’s lawyers say the incident has left the teenager “deeply traumatised”. Ahmed was “publicly mistreated” and remains scarred by “severe psychological trauma”.
That’s Ahmed who went on the telly and to see Barack Obama at the White House?
The lawyers says:
“Irving Police officials immediately determined that the clock was harmless. The only reason for the overreaction was that the responsible adults involved irrationally assumed that Ahmed was dangerous because of his race, national origin and religion.”
It turns out that he’s just as greedy and demanding as the next teenager.