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Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew dry humps for democracy

prince andrew central park epstein
Who got the jacket first?

Having issued the time-honoured non-denial denial, confronted with a televised Q&A into his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (now conveniently dead), innocent Prince Andrew duly gave us the sympathetic backstory.

He could not have been engaged in a sweaty dance with a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at a London night club because he cannot sweat. Why not? Is he a lizard?

He didn’t respond to that rumour, but he did lick his eyeballs and tell the world via the BBC’s Newsnight show that he has a “peculiar media condition which is that I don’t sweat or didn’t sweat at the time.” Was he dancing the ‘dry hump’ at London’s Tramp disco with the young Virginia Roberts, as she was then known before changing into the more tongue-trying Virginia Giuffre? He didn’t sweat “at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War, when I was shot at, and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”

C’est la guerre.

Perhaps that’s why he chose to conduct the interview in a room at Buckingham Palace vast enough to have its own postcode and an ambient temperature low enough to ensure that cold blue blood stays chilled.

Highlights are many. And Andrew explained his way though the more with the following:

Why had he stayed at the Epstein’s pad for four days?

Prince Andrew: “It was a convenient place to stay”

But why four days?

PA: “… at the time it felt like it was the honourable and right thing to do.”

What about that photo with his arm around Virginia’s waist?

PA: “I don’t believe it’s a picture of me”

Fake fingers?

PA: “I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I go out in London I wear a suit and a tie… Nobody can prove whether or not that photo has been doctored, but I don’t recollect the photo ever being taken.”

If Andrew were a politician or some other public figure we could eject, things would be interesting. But he speaks as a man who acts with impunity. One is just too honourable. It’s all pretty unpleasant. But the real shocker is that with an election looming, not one leading party thinks it a good idea of tells Andrew and the other aristo spares to, in the word of his mummy, “Naff orf!”

Posted: 17th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew issues non-denial denial over sex with underage Virginia Roberts

prince andrew roberts

Prince Andrew says he cannot recall if he ever met Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre. He tells the BBC’s Newsnight he has “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever”. He tells interviewer Emily Maitlis he has nothing to hide.

That’s Virginia Roberts with Andrew in the above photo.

Virginia Giuffre alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on Epstein’s private island off the coast of Florida when he she was 17 – making her underage and the sex a crime according to Florida law.

Virginia Giuffre claims she was “forced” to have sex with Prince Andrew three times between 1999 and 2002. He denies ever having had sex with her. That much he remembers.

The media tucks in to the man once dubbed ‘Randy Andy’ who hung out with Epstein, a convicted peadophile. Epstein took his own life while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. That we know because official sources tell us that’s what happened. That’s why Epstein’s dead and unable to act as Andrew’s character witness.

Newsnight Quote 1
Newsnight Quote 2

The papers tuck in:

Prince Andrew Epstein
Epstein andrew

And we’re left to wonder: why is Prince Andrew speaking now?

Posted: 16th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew on the BBC’s Newsnight looks like PR drivel

prince andrew central park epstein

Prince Andrew has been talking to the BBC about his friendship with the not-in-the-least-bit-murdered-convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York thought it right to tell the BBC Newsnight’s show about how he did absolutely nothing wrong.

The official version of events has it that Epstein killed himself as he awaited sentencing for child-trafficking charges. Epstein, a minted pervert with friends in high places, could take it no more and ended it all. Some allege that he might have been helped along the way. But that, of course, is bunkum.

And if you want more myths, look also at Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre) who claims she was “forced to have sex with the duke three times between 1999 and 2002, in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.” Andrew says this is untrue. At the time Virginia was under-age according to Florida state’s law. Andrew says he not have sex with that woman.

Also making claims against Andrew is one Johanna Sjoberg, who alleges that the duke touched her breast while they were hanging out at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. The duke says that too is untrue.

The BBC says its interview with the Prince at Buckingham Palace pulls no punches and leaves “no holds barred”. Really? You might suppose that if something new was revealed in the upcoming interview, the Beeb would have gone big with it. It hasn’t. The show is all. The content is meh. There is no news on the Newsnight scoop.

We might have some questions of our own. Did Andrew know the questions before sitting down with the Beeb’s journalist? Did the Palace’s PR machine not vet the interview for anything that could reflect badly on their precious client? Why the BBC and not another broadcaster? Why now? Why at the Palace and not in the studio?

But let us not be cynical. For those of you not au fait with the story, the BBC presents it thus:

In 2005, the parents of a 14-year-old girl told police in Florida that Epstein had molested their daughter at his Palm Beach home. Prosecutors forged a deal with Epstein in 2008, which saw him avoid federal charges. He instead received an 18-month prison sentence, during which he was able to go on “work release” to his office for 12 hours a day, six days a week. He was released on probation after 13 months.

In 2010, the duke was photographed walking with Epstein in New York’s central park – two years after the financier’s first conviction. Video footage, released by the Mail on Sunday, shows the duke inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion around the same time.

In a statement released by Buckingham Palace in August, the duke said he was “appalled” by the sex abuse claims surrounding his former friend.

The statement added: “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”

Nothing to see here – well, apart form a Prince engaging in what could be mistaken for a televised PR stunt. Move on but only after you’ve given the late-night show’s audienec figures a boost…

Posted: 15th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Narwahl the dog has a tail on his head

tail max dog

Meet Narwahl, an 10-week-old abandoned puppy with a tail on the middle of his forehead. If he likes walking in the rain, Mac can wipe the water from his eyes as he goes.

Narwahl was abandoned in Missouri. Why? Your dog has a tail on his head! People have built Hollywood careers with less.

Posted: 14th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Chelsea benefit from FA decision to ban Manchester City player for non-racist racist tweet

Congratulations to Chelsea on being the beneficiaries of the FA’s decision to ban Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva from playing when the club’s next meet on November 23. For a joke in tweet form aimed at teammate Benjamin Mendy, who found it funny, Silva will also give the FA £50,000 and attend a retraining course.

Silva compared Mendy, with whom he also played at Monaco, to the character on a packet of Conguitos – a chocolate brand available in Spain and Portugal. Silva removed the post within an hour of its publication before tweeting: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days.”

The FA was aghast. “Many persons would have taken offence to the content,” it ruled. “The player did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist. It is clear that the tweet was intended to be no more than a joke between close friends. However, this was not a private communication between two friends. The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer. Many persons viewing the imagery depicted in the tweet would have taken offence to the content as being insulting by reference to race, colour and ethnic origin in a way that unquestionably brings the game of football into disrepute.”

In this frenzied climate of offence seeking, context matter not a jot. In this frenzied climate of offence seeking, context matter not a jot. When did Silva become a role model for the rest of us and football get recast from a pleasant leisure activity into the sports wing of The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Bad Thoughts? Why do the great and good think we need re-educating?

PS: Number of black men on the FA management committee, managing clubs in the Premier League, hosting live matches on the telly, and editing sports pages for national newspapers: nil.

Posted: 14th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


How to buy drugs on the Dark Web

drugs

Jason Kottke directs us to an article on the London Review of Books by Misha Glenny (DarkMarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia) and Callum Lang called How to Buy Drugs. If you need to ask, right? It gets really interesting when they investigate customer service on the so-called Dark Web:

The internet has dramatically improved the experience of drug buyers. The market share of a dark web outlet depends almost entirely on its online reputation. Just as on Amazon or eBay, customer reviews will describe the quality of purchased products as well as reporting on shipping time and the responsiveness of vendors to queries or complaints. If drugs that a buyer has paid for don’t turn up — as once happened to Liam, the Manchester student — a savvy vendor will reship the items without asking for further payment, in the hope of securing the five-star customer reviews they depend on.

As a consequence, the drugs available to the informed buyer are of a higher quality than ever before. They are also safer. The administrators of DNStars.vip — a site on the open web which you don’t need Tor to visit — pose as ordinary users in order to buy samples of popular drugs from major vendors. They then have the drugs chemically tested to see whether they match the seller’s description.

Kottke points to how technology means cheaper and ‘better’ drugs for the buyers but a lot of unpleasantness making it happen that goes unseen. I;d argue that it depends what you’re buying: a bag of marijuana from a small, domestic grower or a pound of cocaine?

Posted: 13th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Amanda Knox is a celebrity at the True Crime Fest ghoul show

What do people who were once caught the searchlights do when the media cycle rolls on? The Star tells us that Amanda Knox has become “pals with penis-chopper Lorena Bobbit”. Unlike knob feller Bobbit, Knox has no epithet, she is merely Amanda Knox, still recognisable as the tabloids’ ‘Foxy Knoxy’, the American who became embroiled in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in a flat they shared in a picturesque part of Italy. After years of claim and counter-claim, in 2015, Knox was acquitted by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation of Kercher’s murder.

And now for the weird bit. The pair met at an event called Death Becomes Us in Washington, DC. Think of something utterly tasteless and then scape its bottom before examining the mess for flecks of gold. Fox News calls it a “true crime festival”. A man was maimed. A woman is dead. Lives were ruined. But roll up, roll up, folks. come see the celebs.

“Lorena and I have a lot in common,” Knox told Fox 5 ahead of their panel. “I think the thing that resonates the most with me when we first spoke to each other over the phone is how this is, like, a historic moment in the history of shamed and vilified women. You don’t see shamed and vilified women coming forward supporting each other reclaiming narratives and calling into account all those forces that are turning us into characters that are morality plays, and exploiting our trauma for the sake of profit and entertainment.”

Eh?

“I think that people could be surprised in many forms because… our narratives, obviously thanks to documentaries, we have basically reclaimed our narratives and now people know our story, know the truth, know what happened about our stories. So I think it’s very important to get that message across” Bobbitt told Fox 5…

The women’s conversation at the “Death Becomes Us” festival will be featured on Knox’s podcast, “The Truth About True Crime.”

Good for them, right. But what about crime fest? To Forbes, Knox is one of the “who’s who in true crime celebrities”. It’s run by a company called Brightest Young Things, whose director told Forbes:

I think there’s something, I feel kind of gross saying this, but I think there’s something kind of delicious about it. I also think we shouldn’t ever discount the fact that people are at times a bit morbid. There’s a morbid curiosity to it. Some people think that listening to documentaries is a cautionary tale. I disagree. I just think it’s fascinating from a psychological and human standpoint. How is it that there are people in the world that are doing these things and why are they doing these things?

The Bright Young Things website calls the DC event “cool and special”.

Case closed, detective. Death Becomes Us – this country’s first true crime festival – took over the District for one full weekend of madness, mayhem and murder. We laughed with the boys from Last Podcast on the Left: Side Stories, we baked Homicide Hunter a cake, we got down to business with the Murder Squad and we got a little misty eyed with Amanda Knox and Lorena (Bobbitt) Gallo. Plus, everything in between

Do you get misty eyed when you think of the murder of Meredith Kercher? It’s all very odd. How do people deal with personal disaster and face civil society? Maybe best to leave this ghoul fest to ferment in its own juices, and recalls the words of Carlo Della Vedova, Amanda Knox’s lawyer: “In this case there is no winner. They have rectified a mistake. It was a terrible tragedy in the beginning. Meredith was a friend of Amanda’s, we have to remember that, we have to remember the family.”

But where’s the “delicious” fun in that?

Posted: 13th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Ant McPartlin related to I’m a Celebrity co-star

Mr Wichetty Bug

I’m a Celebrity returns and with it come still more news on how fabulous Ant and Dec are. Dec has always been great, of course, but people might have read about Ant’s drink driving, drug taking and love life and thought him less than admirable. But in truth national treasure Ant is just like Dec because they both carry “the unique DNA marker, S660″.

News is that “both Ant and Dec can trace their bloodlines back the skeleton of a Viking, who was believed to have died in Dublin in 790AD. The pair are both descendants of the Viking, through their father’s bloodlines, which means they are distant cousins.”

How did they take the news? Like showbiz pals. The Chronicle notes:

“That’s brilliant,” gasped McPartlin. “Oh my God,” added Donnelly , leading McPartlin to jokingly ask whether he was disappointed.

Ant’s only human, of course, and we wish him well. And he’ll remain only human until the next press release when we discover that he’s related to another of his I’m A Celebrity co-stars, the perennial witchetty grub.

Posted: 12th, November 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment


Football mascots doing Remembrance Day : the big furry Poppy

Mascots Remembrance DAy
It’s what they would have wanted

Football mascots doing Remembrance Day delivers this gem:

Previously

Posted: 10th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment


A vote for Labour is a vote for racism

jeremy-corbyn-press tv
‘Press TV – First for Jews’

All those social justice warriors and anti-racist campaigns, can you just hold on a mo? Are you really voting for Labour and campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn to be PM? Is racism ok if it’s only the Jew on the receiving end? Is backing a party leader who is either an anti-Semite or a bloke who apparently acquiesces to anti-semitism ok if it means getting the train to run on time? Jew hatred is an evil. It leads to dead Jews.

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975) understood this. In 1962, The New Yorker commissioned Ardent to report on the trail of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Who was the man who had murdered so many? Was he special? Was evil really so humdrum? In 1963, her report was published in Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.

Thanks to Hitler, anti-Semitism has been discredited, perhaps not forever but certainly for the time being, and this is not because the Jews have become more popular all of a sudden but because not only Ben-Gurion but most people have “realized that in our day the gas chamber and the soap factory are what anti-Semitism may lead to.”

That was then. Now Corbyn gives British Jews lessons in how to be English, likes anti-Semitic art and makes friends with those who would want them all dead. But he says he’s not a racist.

What he said was always the same, expressed in the same words. The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else. No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.

But not to worry because Corbyn is an idealist – and the are the kind of people you an believe in:

An “idealist,” according to Eichmann’s notions, was not simply a man who believed in an “idea” or a man who did not steal or accept bribes, though these qualifications were indispensable. An “idealist” was a man who lived for his idea (hence he could not be a businessman, for example) and who was prepared to sacrifice for his idea everything and, especially, everybody. When he asserted during the police examination that he would have sent his own father to his death if that had been required, he did not mean merely to stress the extent to which he was under orders, and ready to obey them; he also meant to show what an “idealist” he had always been. Of course, the perfect “idealist,” like everybody else, had his personal feelings, but if they came into conflict with his “ideal,” he would never permit them to interfere with his actions.

Don’t vote for his Labour Party.

Posted: 6th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


What fool buys this revolting Captain Beefheart shirt for $1000?

CAptain beefheart
‘Crepe and Black Lamp,’ by Don Van Vliet, 1986 oil on canvas, 148 x 122 cm / 58.25 x 48 inches

Stuck for a gift this Christmas? (And how can you be when Flashbak’s new Prints Shop offers such great deals on wonderful art.) But if you stuck, then do not panic and at the last minute invest $1285 in a silk shirt struck by a painting by Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. As Richard Metzger rightly says, it is revolting.

CAptain beefheart shirt
CAptain beefheart shirt

It’s made by Enfants Riches Deprimes (“Depressed Rich Kids”). At least they know their target market. This is impulse shopping for the daddy-fed rich, entitled and inflicted. Expect to see some berk wearing it on the streets of Notting Hill soon…

Posted: 27th, October 2019 | In: Celebrities, Fashion, Key Posts, Music, The Consumer | Comment


Why Harry and Meghan don’t love us anymore

prince harry meghan
The official photo harry

We love Harry and Maghan, don’t we? You don’t turn out in the wind and rain to wave flags and cheer for just anyone. But the heir’s former spare and his wife have fallen out of love with us. We can’t do right by them. The couple outlined their issues with the plebs in ITV’s Harry and Meghan: An African JourneyThis was woe-is-me TV set against the backdrop of Africa, the go-to place for any jobbing celebs in need of a photogenic poverty backdrop.

Sure they arrived in Malawi by private jet, with platoons of staff, wardrobes of the finest schmutter, hand gels and more jewellery than a company of Namibian miners can stuff down his pants, but their location, the poor, dry Africa of Western made-for-TV audiences, is shorthand for “I feel”. If you want to look caring, a saviour in chinos, head to Africa with a film crew and crumble dust in your fingers. You can use your privilege to raise awareness for things most Africans might well care about less than you do (cheap protein; coal-fired power stations; the tabloid press; buying trees to purify private jet travel; editing Vogue; and inequality).

Away from the palaces, jets and celebrity mates, Harry and Meghan are just like the best of us. And if we were even half decent, we should ask Meghan if she is okay. If Meghan were an athlete, no end of BBC pundits and ex-pros would line up to ask her ‘How does it feel?’. But being a Duchess is tougher than running through the rain in Gateshead. And that’s not a snide comment. It’s true. There are less big game royals than there are champion British athletes (but not champion British tennis players, who are positively regal). And at that rarified level, life must be peculiar. Meghan is a new mum and a new wife living in a new country. We can all relate to her in parts. We can sympathise. One writer says Royals’ “freedom of choice about their lives is almost as constrained as a slave’s”.

It’s not them. It’s us. Maybe ITV can help? Maybe between the ads for discount supermarkets and debt, we can get to the heart of why Meghan is “existing not living”. Can posho news anchor Tom Bradby can tap a blue vein for emotion?

No worries. Tom delivered. He lowered his voice like a guest whispering at a Royal wedding (he’s been to many). ‘How do you feel?’ he asked? “Any woman when you’re pregnant you’re vulnerable,” says Meghan. “And thank you for asking, not a lot of people have asked if I’m OK.”

Why not? My hunch is it’s because most of don’t care. We’re not callous, just not bothered by what the nth in line to the throne and his misses get up to unless its gossipy or weird, preferably both. Meghan’s problem with us might be rooted in not who she married but what she married. They’re not the main event. We’d be happy to ignore them and let them get on with things – but what with all the court cases, photoshoots, TV shows and magazine work, they won’t let us…

Posted: 25th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, TV & Radio | Comment


Harry Dunn: Invisible Anne Sacoolas shames America

anne sacoolas

Where is Anne Sacoolas? She’s no longer in the UK. She might still be checking her hair and make-up in a room at the White House, waiting to “ambush” Harry Dunn’s parents. But to the world at large, the middle-aged woman who legged it is invisible. We don’t see her. And we only hear her speak through a hired suit. Says Anne Sacoolas’ lawyer Amy Jeffress: “We are trying to handle the matter privately and look forward to hearing from the family or their representatives. Anne accepted the invitation to the White House with the hope that the family would meet and was disappointed.”

What more private than a televised big reveal? How about this, Anne and Amy: why doesn’t she just hop on a plane back to the UK and go and see Harry Dunn’s parents? Why doesn’t she call the British police? Why doesn’t Anne Sacoolas do the right thing?

Can it be that Anne Sacoolas, 42, is so valuable an asset to the US that the country cannot function without her? She returned to the United States under diplomatic immunity days after the crash which killed Harry, 19. She said she would not flee. But she did.

Meanwhile, Harry Dunn’s parents are behaving with admirable stoicism. “Meeting Anne Sacoolas in the White House yesterday wouldn’t have brought any healing to her or us,” says the teenager’s grieving mother. “We all accepted right from the off it was a tragic accident. She has to live with that”. Mrs Sacoolas should “do the right thing and set an example to her children… Come back to UK soil and face the justice system and then we can all sit in a room and then we can all start the healing process.”

Of course, that is to assume Anne Sacoolas’s children are not entitled diplo-brats learning the vital lesson that you can leave a foreign teenager dead and get away with it Scot-free if you’ve the right spouse and connections.

And get a load of the Sacoolas family’s representative on the world stage. Having laughed off the accident and attempted to turn the horror into a trite reality TV show, President Trump told media: “My meeting with the family, it was beautiful in a certain way. [Mrs Sacoolas] was in the room right out there, we met right here. I offered to bring the person in question in, and they weren’t ready for it… they wanted to meet with her and unfortunately when we had everybody together they decided not to meet. Perhaps they had lawyers involved by that time, I don’t know exactly.”

Such is the level of bullshit that shames the USA.

Posted: 17th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Jewish MP Louise Ellman shows Jeremy Corbyn the red card for racism

MP Louise Ellman has quit the Labour Party. She says Jeremy Corbyn is “not fit” to become prime minister. The MP for Liverpool Riverside MP is “deeply troubled” by the “growth of anti-Semitism” in Labour under his leadership. She “can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming PM”.

This is the same Corbyn who spends chunks of his day supporting hashtags to stop racism at the football. But away from the working-class oiks at the match, Corbyn is ok with Jew hatred when it’s in his gang. Although Corbyn and his tame dame say they can’t see it. And some of Jezza’s “friends” in Hamas (pledge: kill all Jews) doubtless agree with their assessment. But Ellman has heard and seen enough of the blatant and rife Jew hatred in Corbyn’s Labour.

Corbyn racism
Irony overload

“I believe that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to serve as our prime minister,” she says. “With a looming general election and the possibility of him becoming prime minister, I feel I have to take a stand… Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out. A party that permits anti-Jewish racism to flourish cannot be called anti-racist. This is not compatible with the Labour Party’s values of equality, tolerance and respect for minorities. My values – traditional Labour values – have remained the same. It is Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, that has changed.”

Corbyn racist
“I would support any player walking off as a way of saying: ‘I’m not prepared to tolerate this abuse,’” said Corbyn, who was speaking to the Guardian at a Show Racism the Red Card event.
Uefa is better than Labour

Ellman has shown Corbyn the red card. Faced with relentless racism, the Jewish MP has walked off. The Labour crowd baits the Jews. But Corbyn can hear nothing wrong. Time for decent Labour supporters to leave the field of play. Time to show Corbyn and his apologists the red card.

Posted: 17th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Harry Dunn: hating Anne Sacoolas, star of Trump’s reality TV trap

harry dunn sacoolas anne

Anne Sacoolas only speaks through her lawyer. The suit likes to tell us how pained his client is. How sorry she is. How she is deeply affected by the “tragic accident” that left Harry Dunn dead. How she will do all she can to help British police in their investigation into the teenager’s death. CCTV showed a car travelling on the wrong side of the road when it collided with the innocent teenager on his motorbike.

Harry Dunn’s father, Tim Dunn, puts it better than Anne Sacoolas’s mouthpiece for hire: “She knew Harry had died, she had been told that, and what I really struggle to understand is if you knew that you have killed somebody, you think it is the right thing to flee the country.”

Sacoolas, a mother of three who reportedly had her 12-year-old son in the car when the crash happened, was spoken to by police the day after the crash. Did she, a US citizen, have any plans to leave the country? ‘No,’ came the reply. Her husband is a diplomat. Wary of the abused privilege of diplomatic immunity, police applied to the US embassy for a waiver to allow them to question her. The waiver was refused. And in any case, Anne Sacoolas had fled back to the US. She faces a lifetime of being wrong. But she’ll get over it. Her friends in the US system will help her all they can, in the same way the Mafia help and hide one of their own when faced with allegedly criminal actions.

Anne Sacoolas left behind a dead teenager and a family determined to get justice for the son they loved. Harry’s Dunn’s parents travelled to the US, where Anne Sacoolas is not immune from prosecution.

A moment of horror on a provincial road is international news. Foreign secretary, Dominic Raab urged the US to “do the right thing”. Boris Johnson said, “I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.”

And so Harry Dunn’s parents found themselves in the White House. They met Donald Trump. And then things got nasty. Trump revealed Mrs Sacoolas was in a room next door. “I looked to my side and I saw at least three photographers ready to almost do a press call,” said family spokesman Radd Seiger. A meeting with grieving parents had been turned into a reality TV show. Sick. Callous. Cruel.

But Harry’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, did not plummet into the elephant trap Trump and Team Sacoolas had set for them. They felt “a little ambushed” by the offer.

And so to business. Would Trump order Sacoolas to face the music in the UK? No. Would he show the UK a level of respect a trusted ally deserves? No. Did Anne Sacoolas do the right thing? No. US national security adviser Robert O’Brien told the family that Anne Sacoolas “was never coming back” to the UK, Mr Seiger said.

But Ms Charles remains hopeful. She said after that White House meeting: “When [President Trump] held my hand, I gripped it a lot tighter and I was honest with him and just said… ‘if it was your son you would be doing the same as us’. He actually gripped my hand a little bit tighter and said ‘yes I would be’. And that’s when he said he would try and look at this from a different angle. I can only hope that he was sincere enough to consider doing that for us. He’s the one in control here, but we’re the ones in control of our situation as much as he can be – we still want justice for Harry and we will take it as far as we possibly can to ensure that that’s done. We do feel that we have done as much as we can at the moment.”

Harry Dunn’s family have been given the brush off. Trump has already acted as judge and jury, telling everyone that it was a “tragic accident” and that driving on the “wrong side of the road” is a hazard for all Americans in the UK. In the clip below, US officials laugh as Trump gives his judgement, finding Anne Sacoolas blameless. Hey, “it happens”, says Trump. His fellow Americans shrug and laugh. A teenager with all his life ahead of him is dead. The suspect legged it. C’est la vie. Shit happens:

Insult upon insult is being poured on this country by the US. The country has no intention of putting Anne Sacoolas on a plane to the UK. Anne Sacoolas won’t do it under her own agency. No dignity is being afforded to Harry Dunn and his family. No sense of duty compels Anne Sacoolas and her US protectors to do the right thing. She did not flee the scene in a blind panic. That much would be human and understandable. She was measured. The US has displayed a callous disregard for UK laws and process. And we should all be appalled.

Posted: 16th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


When Frederick Banting and Charles Best stopped death

Frederick Banting and Charles Bes

‘In 1922 the scientists went to a hospital ward with diabetic children, most of them comatose and dying from diabetic keto-acidosis. This is known as one of medicine’s most incredible moments. Imagine a room full of parents sitting at the bedside waiting for the inevitable death of their child. The scientists went from bed to bed and injected the children with the new purified extract – insulin. As they began to inject the last comatose child, the first child injected began to awaken. Then one by one, all the children awoke from their diabetic comas. A room of death and gloom became a place of joy and hope.

‘In the early 1920s Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin under the directorship of John Macleod at the University of Toronto. With the help of James Collip insulin was purified, making it available for the successful treatment of diabetes. Banting and Macleod earned a Nobel Prize for their work in 1923.’

Photo Credits- Library and Archives Canada. Via Diabetes Hope Foundation

Posted: 10th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Nasa’s hard shell space suits

Nasa's hard shell space suits

From 1966 through the 1990s, NASA crested hard space suits for space travellers. These suits would offer greater mobility than soft suits. The leader in space fashioned was Hubert “Vic” Vykukal. As the principal designer and investigator of the AX space suit series, he was also happy to model them.

You can see lots more of Vik in his creations on Flashbak.

Posted: 10th, October 2019 | In: Fashion, Key Posts, Technology | Comment


‘Everyone’s favorite game: Cohen, Pacino or Hoffman?’

Cohen Pacino Hoffman game

Play along to ‘Everyone’s Favorite Game – Leonard Cohen or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman?’ On Facebook one reader did ask : “Leonard who?” They’ve been banned and sent for re-education at one of our camps. The rest of you can carry on…

Spotter:  Tara McGinley and Flashbak

Posted: 8th, October 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment


Harry Dunn: Anne Sacoolas faces a tormented life of being wrong

Charlotte Charles Harry Dunn Anne Sacoolas

Anne Sacoolas is the middle-aged US diplomat’s wife whose Volvo XC90 car collided with a motorbike bike being ridden by Harry Dunn, 19, in Northamptonshire on 27 August 2019. He died. Early police investigations point to him being blameless and Mrs Saccolas driving on the wrong side of the road. Justice is being denied because Anna Sacoolas, her husband and their three children soon after left the UK under the umbrella of ‘diplomatic immunity.’

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, diplomats and their family members are immune from prosecution in their host country, as long as they are not nationals of that country. However, their immunity can be waived by the state that has sent them.

But all Harry Dunn’s family have received is a note from the US ambassador and comments about privacy.

Anne Sacoolas
Anne Sacoolas 

Harry Dunn’s parents have been on the TV. “[It was] unintentional,” says Harry’s mother. “She didn’t purposely drive on the other side of the road… if she’d have stayed and faced us as a family we could have found that forgiveness… but forgiving her for leaving, I’m nowhere near.”

Anne Sacoolas is not a child. We can imagine – and it’s not hard to do so – that she’s a bright and capable woman. The graduate in psychology from the University of South Carolina was working for the US State Department in Washington when she married Jonathan Sacoolas in 2003.

She married a man trusted by the US state to uphold the country’s values. But she’s failed. And by turn, so too has the USA. When faced with ongoing, she and her husband “fled”.

And what of her parental role? Reports suggest Anne Sacoolas’s 12-year-old son was in the passenger seat when her car hit Harry Dunn. What did she tell him of her reasons to leave behind an open police investigation, a dead teenager and a grieving family? Does she tell them it was the right and proper thing to do? It was the grown-up thing to do? Only god can judge them?

“Maturity begins with the capacity to sense and, in good time and without defensiveness, admit to our own craziness. If we are not regularly deeply embarrassed by who we are, the journey to self-knowledge hasn’t begun,” wrote Alain de Botton in The Course of Love.

Can it be that Anne Sacoolas is suffering more than in her imagination than she would do in reality?

Posted: 7th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


US Ambassador’s cynical letter to Harry Dunn’s grieving parents

harry dunn

The police know her name. The authorities know where to find her. Sky News says they tried to call her. But the 40-something year-old wife of the American diplomat sought in connection with a car crash that left Harry Dunn, 19, of Charlton, Banbury, dead is missing.

Harry Dunn was riding his motorbike near to the US spooks base at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August. Police told Sky News that “their initial findings show that Harry was riding his motorbike on the correct side of the road, but that a woman, who pulled out of the airbase onto the wrong side of the carriageway, hit him head-on.”

And then, as reports go, she scarpered back to the USA, land of the free. She remains at large under the cloak of diplomatic immunity, so is claimed. She might be behind the wheel, dropping off her children. It’s all a bit murky. And the powerful want to keep it that way. The US Embassy guffs:

“We express our deepest sympathies and offer condolences to the family of the deceased in the tragic August 27 traffic accident involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a US diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom. Embassy officials are in close contact with the appropriate British officials on this matter. Due to security and privacy considerations, we cannot confirm the identity of the individuals involved, but we can confirm the family has left the UK“.

US ambassador to the UK has written a letter to blameless Harry Dunn’s distraught parents. Woody Johnson, for it is he, expresses his “profound sadness”. His “thoughts and prayers” are with them. He notes that “lost a child myself” he feels their pain. Mr Johnson’s daughter Casey Johnson died of diabetic ketoacidosis in 2010:

heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, died of natural causes related to diabetes, the Los Angeles County coroner said Thursday.
The 30-year-old socialite was found dead at a friend’s home January 4, authorities said.

Harry Dunn was a healthy teenager. One moment he was alive and then he was gone. There is something cynical about Woody Johnson’s mentioning his undeniably, acute private pain in the capacity of his public role in an incident in which diplomat’s wife, aided by the USA, has behaved abominably. Harry Dunn and his family deserve better…

Posted: 5th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The first photo of the far side of the moon

The first photo of the Dark Side of the Moon

On October 7 1959, human beings saw for the first time the far side of the moon. It was taken by the Soviets’ Luna 3:

The first image was taken at 03:30 UT on 7 October at a distance of 63,500 km after Luna 3 had passed the Moon and looked back at the sunlit far side. The last image was taken 40 minutes later from 66,700 km. A total of 29 photographs were taken, covering 70% of the far side.

And now:

The first photo of the Dark Side of the Moon

Spotter: NASA

Posted: 5th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Tough Life: Harry and Meghan pick a fight with the tabloids they can only lose

prince harry meghan
Harry and Meghan : live cam – exclusive to all media

Is Prince Harry a celebrity, an activist or a royal? Right now he’s a litigant, suing the Mail on Sunday for allegedly “bullying” his wife, Meghan.

Harry and his acolytes often portray the Sussexes as victims. “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better,” opined US TV host Ellen DeGeneres. “The way people treat her [Meghan] is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while,” echoed the pop star Pink.

Harry, and presumably Meghan, are upset by the paper’s decision to publish a handwritten letter from Meghan to her father, Thomas Markle, sent shortly after she and Prince Harry got married in 2018. Did you read it? Was it interesting? Good gossip? How did the Mail on Sunday come by it?

Harry’s eye-wateringly expensive lawyers claim the paper and its parent company misused private information, infringed copyright and breached the Data Protection Act 2018. The Mail on Sunday’s report, they allege, was a crime. Ah, so now you want to read it. Nothing sells like contraband and scandal. (The paper denies any wrongdoing.)

Says Harry in a long statement:

As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.

Harry, a democrat in a crown, wants the media to be responsible? What does that mean? Shouldn’t the media be daring, proactive and print what the rich and powerful don’t want you to know? Isn’t the rest just PR?

This is Harry who takes private jets to reach the pulpit from where he preaches about the need to conserve the planet’s resources. “Harry said that he often woke up and felt overwhelmed by too many problems in the world and that sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the mornings because of all the issues, but he wanted to use their platform to enable grass-roots change and to try and create a better society,” South African student Peter Oki, 18, told a Daily Telegraph reporter.

Harry is a man besieged. You could place a small pea under Harry’s mattress and he’d not get a wink of sleep.

“Every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference,” Harry and Meghan guffed on Instagram. They could have added ‘yours’ not ‘ours’. It’s not easy being green when you’re dipped in gold.

Under the headline “Tough Life“, one publication looked at Harry’s campaign for eco-tourism – which given his jet-set lifestyle and palacial homes – the taxpayer generously paid £2.4m to do up their ‘official’ residence – sounded a bit too much telling the oiks to know our place:

His comments followed a summer of controversy after it emerged that he and Meghan had taken four private jets in the space of 11 days to cruise between London, a super-premium villa in Ibiza, and Elton John’s fabulous home in the south of France.

Days before news of the private flights leaked out, Harry, in the course of a lengthy interview with Vogue, had fretted about global warming and pledged to only have two children for environmental reasons.

Harry and Meghan’s high-carbon habits were in stark contrast to William and Kate, who took their family to Scotland on a budget airline.

And now he’s suing the press. He’s upset that the same people he wants to reduce their carbon footprints – replace sun-kissed package trips to the Spanish costas with a drab weekend on a British camp site – get their news in the tabloids. Harry, an ambulatory laser light, wants the tabloids be be “responsible”. He wants readers to only see “responsible” things.

The tabloids love a fight. And many readers love the tabloids. Harry may well have picked the wrong battle. He adds – and look out for his desire to rescue us, the slack-jawed dolts, from the written word sent downmarket:

I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.
This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media. The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.

The Mail on Sunday spokesperson tells everyone: “We categorically deny that the duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”

The rest of us might wonder if the purpose of the monarchy is to bind the nation, entertain us or protect the plebs from knowing too much. And we would if we were not too busy working…

Posted: 2nd, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Human babies have lizard body parts

Lizard babies

Hey, eyeball lickers. News is that babies in the womb are possessed of extra lizard-like muscles in their hands. “Most” babies lose the lizard part before they’re born. (Where do they go?) Others take up residence in Buckingham Palace.

The journal Development says the lizard muscles are a hangover from when reptiles transitioned to mammals. Dr Rui Diogo, from the Howard University, who wrote the research, says:

“We have a lot of muscles going to the thumb, very precise thumb movements, but we lost a lot of muscles that are going to the other digits. In our evolution, we do not need them so much. Why are they there? Probably, we cannot just say in evolution, ‘Look, I will delete from scratch, from day zero, the muscle going to digits two, three, four, five and I will just keep the one going to the thumb.’ Probably it is not so easy. Probably you have to form this layer of this muscle and then it disappears on the other digits but persists on the thumbs…

“The important question for me now is, ‘What else are we missing? What will we find when all the human body is inspected at this detail during its development?”

The next King of England?

Posted: 1st, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Jews missing from union’s tribute to Holocaust Memorial Day

People walk through the concrete steles of the the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in Europe under the Nazis was created by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman and consists of an undulating field of 2,711 steles through which visitors can wander. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

You can remembers the Holocaust at the University and College Union. They are? “The University and College Union (UCU) represents over 120,000 academics, lecturers, trainers, instructors, researchers, managers, administrators, computer staff, librarians and postgraduates in universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and training organisations across the UK.”

It’s “theme” for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is ‘Stand Together’. you might suppose the Holocaust didn’t need any theming. It’s about mass murder. But the UCU was to explore “how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.” It is a “vision”.

But the vision is a little monocular. See if you can spot which people are notable by their absence from an email sent by the union:

Transscipt:

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is ‘Stand Together’. It explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation by the Red Army of Auschwitz-Birkenau [sic], the largest Nazi concentration and death camp. 2020 also marks 25th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide (1998-1995).

Trade unions, including social democrats and communists, were amongst many groups who were persecuted by the Nazi following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. Other groups persecuted included:

Europe’s Roma and Sinti people
‘asocials’ which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and pacifists
black people
disabled people – those with physical as well as mental illness
freemasons
gay and lesbian people
Jehovah’s Witnesses
non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs.

‘Non-Jewish people’ – and not to mention’ Jewish’ people. The union website site does mention that 6 million Jews were murdered. But its very odd – more than a little remiss – to fail to mention them in the list of victims, which appears on the website thus:

Never forget. Please try not to.

Image: People walk through the concrete steles of the the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in Europe under the Nazis was created by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman and consists of an undulating field of 2,711 steles through which visitors can wander. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Posted: 1st, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Set the language police on our MPs

boris johnson

Have you called the language police on Boris Johnson? You might need to wait a while because a few others could be getting the knock first. Johnson has been upbraided for saying the best way to honour Jo Cox, the MP murdered by a man who yelled “Britain first” as he killed her with a gun and a knife, is “to get Brexit done“. He will not stop using the words “surrender bill” to explain the act MPs pushed through to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Labour MP Paula Sheriff demanded Johnson “moderate” his language and stop using the words “Surrender Act”. Referring to Jo Cox, she said: “Many of us in this place are subject to death threats and abuse every single day. Let me tell the prime minister that they often quote his words – surrender act, betrayal, traitor – and I, for one, am sick of it.” Johnson replied: “Mr Speaker, I have never heard such humbug in all my life.”

He’s pressing buttons. And many opponents are answering the call.

“The prime minister’s language and demeanour yesterday was nothing short of disgraceful,” opined Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Three years ago our colleague Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right activist shouting: ‘Britain First. This is for Britain. The language that politicians use matters – it has real consequences. To dismiss concerns from honourable members about the death threats they receive, and to dismiss concerns that the language used by the prime minister is being repeated in those death threats, is reprehensible.”

You readers may recall Corbyn using language to case British Jews as something foreign and lacking in British decency, and calling a group who want all Jews dead his “friends“.

Corbyn’s fellow Labour MPs are also hot on language. “The use of language yesterday and over the past few weeks, such as the surrender bill,” says Jess Philips, “such as invoking the war, such as betrayal and treachery, it has clearly been tested, and workshopped and worked up and entirely designed to inflame hatred and division. I get it, it works, it is working. It is not sincere, it is totally planned, it is completely and utterly a strategy designed by somebody to harm and cause hatred in our country.”

Previously:

And here’s the Shadow Chancellor:

And another of Corbyn’s colleagues:

And to ensure all things are even, here’s Ed Davey, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats:

Can we agree that at least some of the outrage at Johnson’s language is based on political expediency.

Posted: 30th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment