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Prints by Marius Rossillon – O’Galop, the artist who gave us Bibendum

Bibendum, aka The Michelin Man, was created by Marius Rossillon, aka O’Galop (1867-1946).

O’Galop began his career around 1893, drawing cartoons for magazines. He created his first advertisement Michelin in 1898 and would continue creating posters for the company featuring the character until 1911.

O’Galop was born in Lyon in 1867 and died in Carsac-Aillac in 1946.

Buy Prints by O’Galop in the Flashbak Shop

Posted: 5th, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


BBC invites panel of non-Jews to declare that Jews cannot be victims of racism

politics live jews

Does the BBC have an issue with Jews? Dear old Auntie is trying to spot them. It’s got a televised panel on Politics Live to join in a bout of lunchtime Jew ‘rausing’. So how do you identify a Jew? Through eugenics? Watching them pray? By giving them a badge to wear? And why does it matter?

Any Jew looking into their Sephardi ancestry and perhaps taking up those countries’ offer of a right to return, after the Inquisition expelled them on pain of death, is not asked to prove any religious credentials. No-one in Lisbon or Seville asks how often the applicant goes to synagogue. The Gestapo never asked Jews that question either. But on the BBC’s Politics Live show, four non-Jews formed a panel discussing whether Jews are a race. It was a revolting spectacle, reminiscent of that New Statesman cover about the ‘Kosher Conspiracy’. Because if Jews are not a race (clue: they are) they cannot be victims of racism. Jews are fair game.

anti-Semitic new statesman kosher conspiracy

The BBC has form here. The BBC’s biography on new Labour leader for Scotland Anas Sarwar (born 14 March 1983) says he’s “the first minority ethnic leader of a major political party in the UK”. He isn’t. Three Jews have led major UK parties: two Conservative; one Labour.

The BBC changed that to read: Mr Sarwar “is the first non-white leader of a major political party in the UK”. All Jews are white? No. On the census forms, there is no room for ‘Jew’. This is useful because Jews are prone to getting murdered and making a big list of who they all are and where they all live can be dangerous for them. But nowadays, there should be the option.

BBC Jews

But some people don’t get it, or don’t want to get it. People like Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, who tweets: “I am so proud that our party has elected the first ever ethnic minority leader of a political party anywhere in the UK.” Nope. Wrong.

Angela Rayner Jews

If you’re going to use race to score points and big yourself up, why not work to get it right? Ed Miliband, Benjamin D’Israeli and Michael Howard are the three Jews who’ve led major UK political parties. To the BBC and Angela Rayner they.do not count.

Politics Live host Jo Coburn then put it that because Jews have progressed so much in society they might not be “seen as a group deserving recognition”. Got that? As one Jew said in his advise to British Jews, “don’t dare fail.” They get you for that. You’re swarthy, immigrant “vermin”, as one Manchester paper and the far-Right put it. And if you do well, you’re privileged whites who run the world, as the righteous Left have it (see above). The one thing you are always is a Jew. And racism is what leads to your murder.

Posted: 3rd, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Blood diamonds: Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview is beyond satire

When they tire of telling us via their PRs, lawyers, Netflix, Spotify, photoshoots and Oprah Winfrey about the horror of media intrusion, Prince Harry and Meghan Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, may reflect on why it was the media is obsessed with them.

Today’s Meghan missive reaches us via The Times, in which she is the subject of a story that alleges the American was rude to Palace staff, was accused of “bullying” and this:

The Times can reveal that the duchess wore earrings to a 2018 event that were a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said by the US to have approved the murder of the Jamal Khashoggi.

The dinner took place three weeks after the killing.

Blood diamonds? In 2019, the UK imported a million metric tons of crude oil. She wears Saudi goods mined underground, you stick the country’s produce in your car. Who is the more guilty? The Sussexes busy lawyers are dismissive of the “spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by The Crown”.

The Times goes for it:

After a newspaper revealed that a PA had left after only six months, it is understood that the duchess became extremely concerned about the number of stories in the press about staff leaving. Her lawyers state that she did not read the press…

When the duchess wore the earrings in Fiji given by the crown prince she told aides who were preparing to brief the media about her outfit for the state dinner that they had been “borrowed” from a jeweller, a source said, an explanation that was widely reported. This was three weeks after the murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Lawyers for the duchess said she may have stated they were borrowed but did not say they were borrowed from a jeweller and denied that she had misled anyone about their provenance.

Following it? Lost the will to live? Or are you wondering if everything to do with the Royal Family is beyond parody? Get this anecdote from Tory MP Michael Ellis, via the Telegraph’s Michael Deacon:

Before any more is said, let is be placed on the record that the supremely gorgeous, never wrong, rich and highly intelligent Duchess (also very litigious – ed) says it’s untrue she bullied anyone. Well, a spokesman for the Sussexes says it’s all part of a “smear campaign” and the duchess is “saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma”. These are “defamatory claims” “based on misleading and harmful misinformation”. To which the media says: “Phew! Thank god she didn’t ignore it and start training in to be a nurse.”

Meghan Windsor bullying

We are told that two Sussex PAs left their jobs:

Both PAs signed non-disclosure agreements. There is no suggestion that Meghan tried to prevent them from speaking. Lawyers for the duke and duchess stated that she had no knowledge of the agreements and that they believed staff to be comfortable and happy.

No knowledge is not the same thing as saying the NDAs do not exist.

In late 2017, after Harry and Meghan’s engagement was announced, a senior aide spoke to the couple about the difficulties caused by their treatment of staff. People needed to be treated well and with some understanding, even when they were not performing to their standards, they were told. Meghan is said to have replied: “It’s not my job to coddle people.”

Are you more bothered by alleged non-coddling or Prince Andrew’s antics? Are you amazed we are supposed to look up to these people, of whom only one matters – and she’s sat on the throne? So what do we get?

One former staff member said: “I had unpleasant experiences with her. I would definitely say humiliated.”

After Jason Knauf, the couple’s communications secretary, made his bullying complaint, another member of staff was worried about spending time with her the next day because she feared that Meghan was about to find out. “This is why I feel sick,” they said.

Another time there was a row about whether Meghan had been told that the media would be present at an event. When she rang the aide, they rang back but she did not pick up. “I feel terrified,” the source said. “I can’t stop shaking.”

An unnamed source adds:

“There were a lot of broken people. Young women were broken by their behaviour.”

The Times editorialises:

The issue boils down to whether Meghan was a demanding boss with high standards, or a bully. Did her team fail her or did she ask the impossible?

To help us decide a source (again unnamed) is quoted: “Everyone knew that the institution would be judged by her happiness,” a source said. “The mistake they made was thinking she wanted to be happy. She wanted to be rejected because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one.”

And it must be noted: “Lawyers for the duchess said this was entirely wrong. The duchess wished to fit in and be accepted and had left her life in North America to commit herself to her new role.”

Lawyers are said to be delighted.


Posted: 3rd, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Grand National trainer sits on dead horse: why not race the corpses?

Leading Irish horse trainer Gordon Elliott, 43, says the photo of him sat on a dead horse is authentic. Elliott says he took a phone call and sat down on the horse “without thinking”.”I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused,” he says. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is “appalled”.

Elliott has thrice trained the winner of the Grand National. The race yielded 7 fatalities out of 439 horses taking part between 2000 and 2010. In 1998, three horses died: two were injured in the race and then offed by the vet; one suffered a heart attack whilst jumping a fence. But the racing fraternity is aghast and agog and one man using a dead horse as an al fresco office.

‘MURDER?’ – Winner of the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977, the UK’s best known and most loved racehorse is pictured with fans on a visit to Bristol at Castle Park on March 15th 1980.

“I can categorically state that the welfare of each and every horse under my care is paramount and has been central to the success that we have enjoyed,” says Elliott. “The photo in question was taken some time ago and occurred after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops. At what was a sad time, which it is when any horse under my care passes away, my initial reaction was to get the body removed from where it was positioned. I was standing over the horse waiting to help with the removal of the body, in the course of which, to my memory I received a call and, without thinking, I sat down to take it. Hearing a shout from one of my team, I gestured to wait until I was finished. Such background information may seem trivial at this time and will not allay the concerns of many people both within and outside the world of horse racing.”

He’s right. It doesn’t.

Image: An edited version of an image of Gordon Elliott released by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, via BBC, no copyright note.

Posted: 1st, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


The BBC forgets the Jews and identifies Labour leader Anas Sarwar by colour

The BBC’s biography on new Labour leader for Scotland Anas Sarwar (born 14 March 1983) says he’s “the first minority ethnic leader of a major political party in the UK”. He isn’t.

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881), was a Conservative Party leader who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was an ethnic Jew.

It was not until the Jews Relief Act 1858, also called the Jewish Disabilities Bill, that Jews seeking to become MPs did not have to swear the Christian oath of office. The bill allowed “any Person professing the Jewish Religion, [to] omit the Words ‘and I make this Declaration upon the true Faith of a Christian'”.

Other Jews have led major parties. Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, PC, QC (born Michael Hecht; 7 July 1941), served as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005.

This is how Labour Party attacked Howard and another Tory MP Oliver Letwin (also Jewish) in 2005 – you might see hints of Fagin and get a load of those Jewish pigs:

And there’s Ed Miliband (born 24 December 1969), Leader of the Labour Party and the Leader of the Opposition between 2010 and 2015. His mum and dad were Polish Jewish immigrants. In April 2018 – irony of ironies – Jeremy Corbyn fanboy Owen Jones called out “antisemitic dog-whistles” aimed at Miliband, which included “smearing his dad as ‘the man who hated Britain’, and harping on about the weird “north London intellectual”.

So well done Anas Sarwar. But you’re not the first.

Update: the BBC has changed the bio. It now says, Mr Sarwar “is the first non-white leader of a major political party in the UK”. Non white? Are all Jews white? Do all whites see Jews are white? Isn’t being Jewish to belong to an ethnic group? Are Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews less white than Ashkenazi Jews? Is the BBC looking at skin colour only when it sees a politician, including one whose father Mohammed Sarwar was the UK’s first Muslim member of parliament?

On ethniticity, the UK Government says:

In England and Wales, there are 18 ethnic groups recommended for use by the government when asking for someone’s ethnicity. These are grouped into 5 ethnic groups, each with an ‘Any other’ option where people can write in their ethnicity using their own words. These groups were used in the 2011 Census of England and Wales.

So which group is the one for Jews? And should all MPs first be identified by their skin colour before a word on their policies is mentioned?

Posted: 28th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


The Radiohead Public Library is open and free to use

Radiohead are giving away free music. They stole the hackers’ thunder when demos for the band’s 1997’s smash hit album OK Computer were stolen by releasing 18 hours of the material free to stream or buy for a limited time. All proceeds went to charity. Then more. The band’s archive is available in a free “public library” – go there to claim your click and print library card.

Spotter: Rolling Stone.

Posted: 26th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


Covid-19: The NHS is scared of Gwyneth Paltrow

Reading of a senior NHS leader’s response to Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow’s Covid-19 routine minded me of a joke told by the abrasive Glaswegian comic Jerry Sadowitz. “Prince Diane put her hair in a bun,” he begins, “and her **** in a toaster.” How much information do we need and what does it have to do with us? The BBC reports that Paltrow has a “duty of responsibility” when talking about Covid treatments. Paltrow is not a doctor, not medically trained and the last time I looked made a living pretending to be other people to deadline. Jane Seymour’s views on Covid-19 are unknown, but when Dr Quinn Medicine Woman breaks her silence the NHS will surely be all ears.

Paltrow says he had Covid-19. It left her with “some long-tail fatigue and brain fog”. She took her foggy brain to see a “functional medicine practitioner”, who had advised “intuitive fasting”. She takes “ketop and plant-based diet”, never eats before 11am and partakes in “infrared saunas” (aka: sitting too close to patio heaters).

NHS England’s Prof Stephen Powis says such methods are “really not the solutions we’d recommend”. Well, hard cheese. Paltrow never consulted you. But Prof Powis never studied for years to support such stuff and says that he is more into “serious science”. “Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves,” he says. “So I think YouTube and other social media platforms have a real responsibility and opportunity here… We need to take long Covid seriously and apply serious science. All influencers who use social media have a duty of responsibility and a duty of care around that.”

The message is clear: listen to us; don’t listen to them. I’m want to be an influencer. And you’re all thick.

Posted: 25th, February 2021 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


‘Julia Roberts finds her holes get better with age’ – newspaper regrets the typo

typo Julia Robert holes

Hollywood mega-star Julia Roberts ‘finds that her holes get better with age’. The Post-Journal regrets the error.

As do these throbbing organs:

Posted: 22nd, February 2021 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment


Harry and Meghan are Duke and Duchess in a country that gave us true royalty like Prince, The King and Zsa Zsa Gabor

Where do the Duke and Duchess of Sussex rank in the USA, a country that gave us Prince, The King (Elvis), King (a town in North Carolina (see above The Count (of Sesame Street), The Godfather of Soul and Emperor Norton, a citizen of San Francisco, California, who proclaimed himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States” in 1859? Harry and Meghan will not work as members of the Royal Family. The spare to the heir and his wife have no duties to fulfil connected to their titles. They cannot hold their honorary commands and patronages and live in California. A series of cataclysmic events could still result in Harry becoming King. But that seems unlikely. They could become the King and Queen of Netflix and Podcasts. Or name their forthcoming child Empress, Princess or Queen.

Right now, Harry and Meghan resemble extras from a dull Hollywood soap opera. Not quite as regal as Zsa Zsa Gabor and less grand than Dynasty’s Prince Michael of Moldoiva. But maybe one day popular enough to appear at Caesar’s Palace casino in Las Vegas.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s being handed back to the Queen:

Harry:

Captain General, the Royal Marines
Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington
Commodore-in-Chief, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving
President, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
Patron, the Rugby Football Union
Patron, the Rugby Football League

Meghan:

Vice-President, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
Patron, the Royal National Theatre
Patron, the Association of Commonwealth Universities

Posted: 19th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Daily Express leads with terrible Prince Philip photo; Diana might be dead

The Duke of Edinburgh has been resting in a London hospital. He’s 99. Prince Philip’s trips to hospital are not infrequent. But it’s easy news. It helps newspapers tread water whilst Philip’s obituary they’ve had primed and ready to go for decades gathers dust. But do they like Phil? Specifically, does the Daily Express likes him?

This is how the Telegraph, Mail and Sun lead with news of Phil’s latest trip to the doctors. He looks fresh-faced and spry.

And here’s Philip on the cover of the Daily Express. He looks decidedly ill. For added spite, the paper’s slapped him next to a picture of a smiling Princess Diana, her face radiant, and a picture of her sons, one of whom is actually pointing in his direction.

What can it all mean from the paper that brought you this news:

daily express diana philip

Posted: 18th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Covid-19 : Armageddon did not begin in Bournemouth

 Covid beach

When the fist lockdown was ended, we headed to beaches. But the ‘Covidiots’ never did spread Covid-19 on Bournemouth’s golden sands. SAGE epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse tells the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that crowded beaches did not lead to a single outbreak last summer.

“Over the summer we were treated to pictures of crowded beaches, and there was an outcry about this, but there were no outbreaks linked to crowded beaches… there has never been a Covid-19 outbreak linked to a beach ever anywhere in the world, to the best of my knowledge.”

What did the papers and say? The Indy and Telegraph were scathing:

Bournemouth Covid
Covid bournemouth

One local MP was hot on Covid. Tobias Ellwood new the rules:

Later…

As you were.

Posted: 17th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


William Charles Flynn: Breeding the perfect child through eugenics – 1915

This photograph shows William Charles Flynn, a winner of perfect “eugenic baby” contests in the early 20th Century.

The Spokesman-Review, of Mar 27, 1915, reports that Flynn, 37 months old, had won 14 first prizes in baby eugenics shows. His mother and the mother of 17-months-old Alene Calvert Houck, a girl with 6 wins under her nappy ban, hoped their “perfect 100-point” children would later marry produce the perfect human.

The Eugenics Archive has more:

When one considers the strong contribution of agricultural breeding to the eugenics movement, it is not difficult to see why eugenicists used state fairs as a venue for popular education. A majority of Americans were still living in rural areas during the first several decades of the 20th century, and fairs were major cultural events. Farmers brought their products of selective breeding — fat pigs, speedy horses, and large pumpkins — to the fair to be judged. Why not judge “human stock” to select the most eugenically fit family?

This was exactly the concept behind Fitter Families for Future Firesides — known simply as Fitter Families Contests. The contests were founded by Mary T. Watts and Florence Brown Sherbon — two pioneers of the Baby Health Examination movement, which sprang from a “Better Baby” contest at the 1911 Iowa State Fair and spread to 40 states before World War I. The first Fitter Family Contest was held at the Kansas State Free Fair in 1920. With support from the American Eugenics Society’s Committee on Popular Education, the contests were held at numerous fairs throughout the United States during the 1920s.

At most contests, competitors submitted an “Abridged Record of Family Traits,” and a team of medical doctors performed psychological and physical exams on family members. Each family member was given an overall letter grade of eugenic health, and the family with the highest grade average was awarded a silver trophy. Trophies were typically awarded in three family categories: small (1 child), medium (2-4 children), and large (5 or more children).

All contestants with a B+ or better received bronze medals bearing the inscription, “Yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Childless couples were eligible for prizes in contests held in some states. As expected, the Fitter Families Contest mirrored the eugenics movement itself; winners were invariably White with western and northern European heritage.

Top Ten Unlikely and Surprising Eugenicists

Posted: 13th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


PR and privacy beats public interest: Duchess Meghan defeats the Mail

Markle letter high court

Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, struck a blow for the little people when she took on the Daily Mail on Sunday and won her high court privacy case. The aristocrat says “we have all won”.

She brought the claim against Associated Newspapers over its publication of extracts from her letter to her father. He had passed it to the paper. Judge Mr Justice Warby said Meghan had a “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private”. The Mail countered that publishing the letter was in the public interest.

“One’s correspondence with others is presumptively private in nature,” said Warby. “…Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful. There is no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial.” The Mail never got to test the matter in open court.

Warby ruled that the letter that appeared beneath the headline “Revealed: the letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces” was “a long-form telling-off”, “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”

Markle letter high court

The Sun calls the ruling “a blow against press freedom”. The Daily Mail says its publishers are considering an appeal. It would be useful to discover what it all means going forward.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens tells the BBC: “If you can’t effectively report on leaked letters then in those circumstances the media holding people to account is going to be hampered. Essentially this judgement in its widest context puts manacles on the media… This is a letter that could have easily been published in the United States and you are in a situation where going forward people will leak these letters to media in America.”

How did we all win, as Meghan put it? Isn’t this a win for the rich and powerful, those born to rule?

“Thomas Markle makes the allegation that she created an attack through PR and her friends,” says Stephens, now popping up in the Mail. “Thomas Markle makes the allegation that she created an attack through PR and her friends. If that’s right it means rich and powerful people who can afford PR and representation will be able to curate their reputations without the media being able to expose that.”

Joshua Rosenberg writes in the Telegraph:

Warby’s ruling reinforces the law without changing it. There will still be cases where a newspaper’s freedom of expression outweighs a letter-writer’s right to privacy – especially if the writer is a public figure. But this was not one of them.

The Duchess of Sussex has issued a statement – something we are allowed to report:

These tactics (and those of their sister publications MailOnline and the Daily Mail) are not new; in fact, they’ve been going on for far too long without consequence.

For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep. The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news.

What The Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite. We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain.

One item on the court’s agenda remains to be decided. The judge says publication of the letter infringed the duchess’s copyright. But he says the issue of whether Meghan was “the sole author” of the letter or Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was a “co-author” should be determined at a trial.

Will it be? If it is found that personal and private letters to her dad were authored for co-authored by her staff, you might wonder what the purpose of the letter really was? And the tabloids will have yet another Meghan and Harry news story to use when they press f9 on the keyboard and let us all know what two toffs living in LA are up to when the toffs are not telling us what they’re up. And on the game goes…

Posted: 12th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Queen’s Consent makes a mockery of democracy

Queen's consent

Is Her Majesty the Queen an elitist? The Guardian has seen papers from 1973 suggesting Liz’s personal lawyers “successfully lobbied ministers to change a draft law in order to conceal her private wealth”. It’s to do with ‘Queen’s Consent’, which Buckingham Palace calls a “purely formal” process – or what you cynics might call a well-designed loophole. The paper says in seeing the proposed rule change that would affect her, Her Maj was able to debate it and possibly get it altered it in her favour before agreeing to it. Says the BBC: “A revision to the draft law subsequently enabled her as a head of state to sidestep the new regulations.” The Palace is dismissive:

“Queen’s consent is a parliamentary process, with the role of sovereign purely formal. Consent is always granted by the monarch where requested by government. Any assertion that the sovereign has blocked legislation is simply incorrect.

“Whether Queen’s consent is required is decided by parliament, independently from the royal household, in matters that would affect Crown interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch.

“If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record.”

Good job we’re living in a democracy where we are all equals, right?

Posted: 8th, February 2021 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, Royal Family | Comment


British politics at its best: Handforth Parish Council meeting goes viral

You are watching a meeting of Handforth Parish Council, in Wilmslow, Cheshire, on Zoom. Jackie Weaver is from the Cheshire Association of Local Councils. The Chairman is Brian Tolver, refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the meeting. He bills himself as the “clerk”.

Ms Weaver says: “The chairman simply declared himself clerk and notified everybody of the case. There is no way of stopping him from calling himself clerk. Please refer to me as Britney Spears from now on.”

local news
Britney Spears

Mr Tolver is removed from the meeting and placed in a “virtual waiting room” to the virtual meeting after saying: “You have no authority here Jackie Weaver.”

Councillor Aled Brewerton adds: “Read the standing orders – read them and understand them!” He too is sent to the virtual waiting room.

Stay tuned…

Posted: 5th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Watch The Princess Bride Home Movie

The Princess Bride (redux), directed by Jason Reitman, broadcast on Quibi (the now dead streaming service you never heard of), starring Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Adam Sandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Hamm (Westley), Zoe Saldana (Buttercup), Penelope Cruz (Prince Humperdinck), Pedro Pascal (Inigo Montoya), Shaquille O’Neal (Fezzik), Charlize Theron (Fezzik) and Andy Serkis (Count Rugen).

Why was it made? for charity. Money raised went to José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 2nd, February 2021 | In: Celebrities, Film, Key Posts | Comment


Craven Joe Biden denies Harry Dunn justice – protects coward Anne Sacoolas

Joe Biden agrees with Trump. They are foreign birds of a feather for whom the “special relationship” is a one way street. Biden says Anne Sacoolas, the American wife of an American spook working on British soil, does not have to face British justice. She fled the UK after a car she was driving on the wrong side of the road near RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire, in 2019, collided with a blameless Harry Dunn, leaving him dead. He was 19.

The cowardly Sacoolas legged it, citing diplomatic immunity. Harry Dunn’s working-class parents sued for justice. They believed they’d get it.

“The United States government has declined the United Kingdom’s request for extradition of a US citizen involved in a tragic vehicle accident that occurred in the United Kingdom,” says State Department spokesman Ned Price.

“Our decision in that regard was final. At the time the accident occurred, and for the duration of her stay in the UK, the US citizen driver in this case had immunity from criminal jurisdiction.”

A young man is dead. Harry Dunn was neither rich nor powerful enough to matter to Joe Biden. Anne Sacoolas is being protected by America. But what’s to stop her boarding a flight and heading to the UK? What prevents this protected American from doing the right thing?

Posted: 29th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Cracking Typo: ‘Daft’ Germans lose plot over AstraZeneca vaccine in the Guardian

“Daft Germans” in the Guardian – a typo (?) now changed

The “daft Germans” (source: Guardian – see above) say the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine they are desperate to get is pretty rubbish if you’re over-65. It feels like only yesterday (it was – ed) that the Germans and their equally slow EU peers who ordered the vaccine three months after the UK put its order in were demanding the UK supply doses from its stocks to make up any shortfall due to production issues.

Weird feeling for someone who voted to remain in the EU to watch it implode over UK’s ability to work faster and harder to get more vaccines. It is a brilliant advert for Brexit – and for the ancient principle of first come, first served— Grant Feller (@grantfeller) January 28, 2021

The EU’s health commissioner (can you name him / her?) claims AstraZeneca is wrong when it says it is contractually obliged to supply the UK first. Stella Kyriakides (congrats to longtime reader Mrs Stella Kyriakides for answering right; hard cheese Mr Stella Kyriakides for his wrong answer) says: “We reject the logic of first come, first served. That may work in a butcher’s shop but not in contracts and not in our advanced purchase.”

AstraZeneca says it can deliver 25% of the doses scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of the year once the European medicines authority has given its approval. The company says it will deliver 2m doses a week for the benefit of UK residents, as agreed.

The “daft Germans” will have to wait.

Posted: 28th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


‘Queen Bitch’ Margaret Marilyn DeAdder’s obituary is the best read of 2021

Great obituary

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder (1942-2021), of New Brunswick, Canada, loved coupons, bitchiness and menace on the roads. Her obituary is choice:

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder, professional clipper of coupons, baker of cookies, terror behind the wheel, champion of the underdog, ruthless card player, and self-described Queen Bitch, died on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Marilyn, the oldest of four siblings, was born Marilyn Joyce in 1942, to parents Hannah and Edgar Joyce, in New Glasgow, NS. She grew up in a modest home, which still stands on the top of a hill where the Westville Rd. forks to the Town of Westville in one direction and the old drive-in in the other. Growing up with very little taught her how to turn a dime into a dollar, a skill at which she’d excel her whole life.

Marilyn loved all children who weren’t her own and loved her own children relative to how clean-shaven they were. She excelled at giving the finger, taking no sh!t and laughing at jokes, preferably in the shade of blue. She did not excel at suffering fools, hiding her disdain, and putting her car in reverse. A voracious reader, she loved true crime, romance novels and the odd political book. Trained as a hairdresser before she was married, she was always doing somebody’s hair in her kitchen, so much so her kitchen smelled of baking and perm solution. Marilyn had a busy life, but no matter what she was doing she always made time to run her kids’ lives as well. Her lifelong hobbies included painting, quilting, baking, gardening, hiking and arson. Marilyn loved tea and toast. The one thing she loved more than tea and toast was reheated tea and toast. She reheated tea by simply turning on the burner often forgetting about it. She burned many a teapot and caused smoke damage countless times, leaving her kids with the impression that fanning the smoke alarm was a step in brewing tea.

Marilyn liked to volunteer and give back to the community. She was a lifelong volunteer at the Capital Theatre in downtown Moncton, which her sons suspected was her way of seeing all the shows for free. For all of Marilyn’s success in life, her crowning achievement occurred in the mid-to-late eighties, when, left with mounting debt, no job, no car, and no driver’s license, she turned it all around to the point in the early nineties that she had paid down her house, paid cash for all her cars, and got her three boys through university.

Marilyn is survived by her three ungrateful sons Michael (Gail), Paul and David (Trudy), whose names she never got completely right, and whose jokes she didn’t completely understand. She loved them very much, even though at least one of them would ruin Christmas every year by coming home with facial hair, and never forgot that one disastrous Christmas in which all three sons showed up with beards. Everything she did, she did for her sons.

Marilyn is survived by her three granddaughters Meaghan (19), Bridget (16) and Madelyn (5). While her sons committed unspeakable crimes against humanity, her granddaughters could do no wrong. While her sons grew up on root vegetables and powdered milk (funneled directly into the bag to hide the fact that it was powdered, fooling nobody), her granddaughters were fed mountains of sugary snacks as far as the eye could see, including her world-famous cookies and cinnamon rolls. Her love for them was unmatched.

Marilyn is survived by her sisters, Melda and Linda, and her brother, Lloyd, who still owes her $600* (*inside family joke – sorry, Lloyd). Marilyn is also survived by an incredible number of close friends, who cannot be named for fear of missing somebody.

Marilyn, ever the penny-pincher, decided to leave this world on the day Moncton went into red-alert, her sons believe, to avoid paying for a funeral. But, on the other hand, she always said that she didn’t want a funeral, she wanted an Irish wake. She didn’t want everybody moping around, she wanted a party. Marilyn will get her celebration of life when COVID-19 is over. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do something nice for somebody else unexpectedly, and without explanation. We love you, mom, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

As seen on. the website of Cobb’s Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

Posted: 28th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


The best Bernie Sanders Joe Biden inauguration meme

Bernie Sanders was at Joe Biden’s inauguration. Dressed in a car coat and mittens, a meme was born. And the best of them was created by Bryce Utting:

Honourable mentions:

Posted: 22nd, January 2021 | In: Gifs, Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Artist predicted Zoom in 1896 – the telephonoscope

Artist predicted Zoom in 1896 - the telephonoscope

The rough translation to this 1896 cartoon predicting the Zoom age is: “My wife visits her aunt in Budapest, my oldest daughter is studying to be a dentist in Melbourne… this does not prevent us from celebrating Christmas with the telephonoscope.”

Helen De Cruz adds:

Next to Zoom Christmas, Albert Robida also predicted courses via Zoom, in his novel Le Vingtième siècle. La vie électrique (1890). Caption reads “Courses by Telephonoscope”. He thought the “telephonoscope” would give us education, movies, teleconferencing.

Spotter: @Helenreflects

Posted: 21st, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment


US Senator Ted Cruz thinks Paris isn’t in Texas

US Senator for Texas, Ted Cruz, has noticed President Joe Biden returning the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement. Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement in November 2020. Says Cruz:

“By signing this order, President Biden indicates that he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh.”

And the Texas Senator isn’t?

PArisc climate ted cruz

Posted: 21st, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Why my baby sleeps wherever and whenever they want – a beyond parody parenting guide

As Jess Brammar (@jessbrammar) : “Just got the baby out of his cosy prison and ready for another day of baby-led parenting where we checks notes don’t put any clothes on him or feed him any solid food and let him fall asleep when he is self-aware enough to put himself down for a nap.”

Posted: 17th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Computer programmer forgets password – gets locked out of $220m Bitcoin wallet


Stefan Thomas, a German computer programmer living in San Francisco, can’t remember his password. If he can, Thomas gain control of the 7,002 bitcoin on his IronKey hard drive. But he can’t. He has two attempts left before he reaches his quota of 10 password attempts before the drive locks him out permanently and encrypts the content – leaving his $220 million virtual fortune gone.

“There were sort of a couple weeks where I was just desperate – I don’t have any other word to describe it,” Thomas told KGO-TV. “You sort of question your own self-worth: ‘What kind of person loses something that important?'”

File under: cash is king.

Spotter: NYT

Previously: Newport man throws away £210m Bitcoin hard drive

Posted: 16th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, Money, Technology | Comment


When F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway compared penis size

Just as men took up painting to spend time with naked men and women, many famous writers were also preoccupied with sex. In A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway notes the time he and fellow novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, compared penis size:

In the time after Zelda had what was then called her first nervous breakdown and we happened to be in Paris at the same time, Scott asked me to have lunch with him at Michaud’s restaurant on the corner of the rue Jacob and the rue des Saints-Pères. He said he had something very important to ask me that meant more than anything in the world to him and that I must answer absolutely truly.

[…]

I kept waiting for it to come, the thing that I had to tell the absolute truth about; but he would not bring it up until the end of the meal, as though we were having a business lunch.

Finally when we were eating the cherry tart and had a last carafe of wine he said, “You know I never slept with anyone except Zelda.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I thought I had told you.”

“No. You told me a lot of things but not that.”

“That is what I have to ask you about.”

“Good. Go on.”

“Zelda said that the way I was built I could never make any woman happy and that was what upset her originally. She said it was a matter of measurements. I have never felt the same since she said that and I have to know truly.”

“Come out to the office,” I said.

“Where is the office?”

Le water,” I said.

We came back into the room and sat down at the table.

“You’re perfectly fine,” I said. “You are O.K. There’s nothing wrong with you. You look at yourself from above and you look foreshortened. Go over to the Louvre and look at the people in the statues and then go home and look at yourself in the mirror in profile.”

“Those statues may not be accurate.”

“They are pretty good. Most people would settle for them.”

“But why would she say it?”

“To put you out of business. That’s the oldest way in the world of putting people out of business. Scott, you asked me to tell you the truth and I can tell you a lot more but this is the absolute truth and all you need. You could have gone to see a doctor.”

“I didn’t want to. I wanted you to tell me truly.”

“Now do you believe me?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Come on over to the Louvre,” I said. “It’s just down the street and across the river.”

We went over to the Louvre and he looked at the statues but still he was doubtful about himself.

“It is not basically a question of the size in repose,” I said. “It is the size that it becomes. It is also a question of angle.” I explained to him about using a pillow and a few other things that might be useful for him to know.

A pillow to rest our head upon when you lie down, pick up a good book and forget about it.

Spotter: BB; Flashbak

Posted: 15th, January 2021 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment