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Hal is coming: Russian Spacecraft carrying humanoid Robot aborts Space Station docking

The Russian Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft carrying the humanoid robot Skybot F-850 is seen during final approach to the International Space Station on Aug. 24, 2019. The Soyuz's docking was aborted due to a problem with its Kurs rendezvous system.

Have Ronald Reagan’s ray guns readied. An uncrewed Russian Soyuz Spacecraft carrying a humanoid robot has aborted docking at International Space Station.

Onboard the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is the humanoid robot Skybot F-850. On its final approach to the ISS, the automated docking system failed to lock on to its intended docking port.

“At no point was the crew in any danger,” says NASA spokesperson Rob Navias of the ISS’s six-person crew. But it’s not just the humans we’re worried about, is it. It’s the robot, aka Fedor.

“Like any person, Skybot f-850 is very sociable and has a sense of humor,’” says Alexander Bloshenko, science adviser to Roscosmos state space corporation’s director general. “As I have mentioned before, it can support any topic of conversation and answer a variety of questions: from welcoming remarks, continuing with a speech about its creators and ending with the philosophy of space.”

Hal… Come in Hal

Fedor spec robot

Image: The Russian Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft carrying the humanoid robot Skybot F-850 is seen during final approach to the International Space Station on Aug. 24, 2019. The Soyuz’s docking was aborted due to a problem with its Kurs rendezvous system.

Via: Russian Soyuz Spacecraft Carrying Humanoid Robot Aborts Docking at Space Station

Posted: 25th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew’s pathetic defence in full

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew has issued a statement about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. It’s utter bilge. Quite extraordinary nonsense.

“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”

Andrew seems to be saying that when he hung out with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Prince thought the American billionaire was a really good bloke, but after the convicted paedophile was arrested on suspicion of molesting lots more children (see: Epstein’s “lifestyle”), the Prince come to realise that Epstein might not be the top person he thought him to be when he had been in prison for over a year during the course of their friendship for having sex with a 14-year-old.

That, says the Prince, is “closure”. And that, dear readers, is the best the finest minds among the Palace’s contingent of PRs can muster. The allegations are worse than the actual crime? Andrew’s in a bigger hole than even he can fill.

Posted: 24th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Situations vacant : young women to rub Prince Andrew’s post-Epstein feet

prince andrew roberts

Before he was “appalled” by Jeffrey Epstein’s corpse and the financier’s “alleged crimes”, Prince Andrew was seen getting a foot massage from a young woman at Epstein’s apartment. Writing in the New Republic, Evgeny Morozov paints a tableaux of what life is like for Randy Andy in one of those distilled culture war moments. You, the civilised, think ‘who is that pompous twat in the suit’. Entitled knobs think: keep the lower orders in their place?

Last time I visited his house (the largest private residence in NYC), I walked in to find him in a sweatsuit and a British guy in a suit with suspenders, getting foot massages from two young well-dressed Russian women. After grilling me for a while about cyber-security, the Brit, named Andy, was commenting on the Swedish authorities and the charges against Julian Assange.

“We think they’re liberal in Sweden, but it’s more like Northern England as opposed to Southern Europe,” he said. “In Monaco, Albert works 12 hours a day but at 9pm, when he goes out, he does whatever he wants, and nobody cares. But, if I do it, I’m in big trouble.” At that point I realized that the recipient of Irina’s foot massage was his Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

Indeed, a week later, on a slow news day, the cover of the NYPost had a full-page photo of Jeffrey and Andrew walking in Central Park under the headline: “The Prince and the Perv.” (That was the end of Andrew’s role at the UK trade ambassador.)

It’s not just the word that the foot rubbers are young women and the bores all middle-aged blokes, but that the women are “well-dressed’, their clothes adding a mask of decency to the sleaze, like stashing your porn in a Smythson briefcase and hiring expensive lawyers to muzzle accusers.

Anyhow, Andrew is “appalled by recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes”. Whether Andrew is more of less appalled by Epstein’s 2008 conviction of sex with a 14-year-old is not known. All we know is that in 2010, they were hanging out in New York together…

Posted: 24th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Falsettos : Jews and Non-Jews can pretend to be Jews

Set in New York City in 1979, Falsettos is the musical that begins with the number “Four Jews in a Room Bitching”: “Marvin, his ten-year-old son Jason, his psychiatrist Mendel, and his boyfriend Whizzer are in the midst of an argument.” The show about a Jewish family has won Tony Awards for book and score. But the London outing has hit a snag: there are no actual Jews on the show:

Miriam Margolyes and Maureen Lipman have accused West End producers of “overt appropriation” after they cast non-Jewish actors in a musical about a Jewish family. They are among a group of 20 Jewish artists who signed an open letter to the team behind Falsettos, which opens at The Other Palace Theatre in Westminster on August 30. It claims that the UK debut of the award-winning show – which has a plot centred around a boy’s bar mitzvah – features no Jewish talent.

Can Jews play non-Jews? Isn’t a play all about, you know, pretending? Playing yourself isn’t really acting is it, not of the sort that makes you a dame. And what of a black Jews – are they able to black Muslims and Hasidic Jews or just one or the other, or neither? Does Hamlet have a Danish accent? Is Maureen looking for a job?

Lipman for BT

The row was ignited when the message, backed by Harry Potter actress Ms Margolyes, 78, and Coronation Street star Ms Lipman, 73, was published by The Stage website on Wednesday. “To the best of our knowledge no one in the cast of the UK premiere is Jewish, and neither is the director or anyone on the team,” it states. “Jewishness is easy to caricature and this seems all the more disappointing when Jewish representation is absent and the ability of Jews to tell or contribute to their own stories is dismissed.”

Why not trust the actors not to caricature the roles? The best actors can pick up accents and slight facial expression. The worst play versions of themselves on Hollyoaks, The Only Way is Essex and The Producers. The best plays are not racially-driven propaganda. And then this:

Selladoor Worldwide, the production company, said it could not confirm if its company members were Jewish because it would be discriminatory to ask them.

I don’t think they’re Jewish, but their agent might be?

Lead image: Miriam Margolyes playing ‘not a Jew’ in Blackadder

Posted: 24th, August 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew and an obsession with holes

Epstein prince andrew

Jeffrey Epstein is the BBC’s “shamed financier Jeffrey Epstein”. But he wasn’t was he? We’ve no clue if Epstein felt shame for molesting underage girls. And we know that after his 2008 conviction for procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18 he was still pals with Prince Andrew. If shame results from being shunned by society, Epstein was shameless. It was only after the tabloids published a photo of Andrew walking in the park with Epstein that the royal hole hunter apparently cut ties with the convicted paedophile. And let’s note that Buckingham Palace deny Andrew’s involvement in any wrongdoing.

We don’t know what drove Epstein to apparently take his own life in a New York jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. If he left a note explaining all, we’ve not seen it. If he confided in anyone, their lips are sealed.

Did Einstein feel his wrongdoing, something akin to what E.F. Schumacher wrote in 1973 on “The power of ‘the Eye of the Heart’, which produces insight, is vastly superior to the power of thought, which produces opinions”? Was Epstein suddenly acutely aware of his crimes, seeing what once was inaccessible to his limited view? Did Epstein experience embarrassment and found the resulting fall into self knowledge unbearable? Credo ut intelligam.

No Epstein. No way of knowing. Instead a look at some the women on his planet because women sell news.

The Times and Telegraph both lead with big photos of Katherine Keating. It’s “believed” she was seen on video leaving Epstein’s home in NYC, waving goodbye to Prince Andrew as she left.

The footage, shot on December 6, 2010, shows a relaxed Prince Andrew peering out from behind the door of Epstein’s New York home, a lavish residence in which the financier allegedly carried out the systematic grooming, abuse and rape of young girls. The Duke of York was bidding a friendly farewell to a brunette woman who bears a striking resemblance to Ms Keating, now 37, the middle daughter of Paul Keating, the Labor leader who served as Australia’s prime minister from 1991 until 1996.

But, well, so what? Keating has done nothing wrong. She hung out with very rich people in New York. What light does it shed on Epstein?

While the full allegations against him had not emerged in December 2010, he had pleaded guilty, in 2008, to soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14. It seemed to make little difference to his standing in international high society.

Why not? A conspiracy? That a very rich man knew very rich, very connected, very materialistic people is nothing shocking. His little black book was a social network. It’s not the only one. Do we trust the people in these elite groups? What are their values? Chances are they’re as hypocritical as the rest of us.

In a world obsessed with imaginary VIP paedophiles, Jeffrey Epstein was the real deal. Don’t focus on the holes – all the things we don’t know. The good news is that the law caught up with him.

Posted: 21st, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Release the tabloid dogs lest Prince Andrew slip away

Prince Andrew epstein sex

The better news for Prince Andrew is that the New of The World’s death came long before Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by committee in a New York jail. The convicted paedophile who hung out with Randy Andy in the palace and the park was the topic of the March 2011 NoTW front page “Prince Andy and the Paedo”. The paper loved a tale of sex and scandal, and would have pursued the story of Andrew and the now dead depraved pervert with vigour. The phone-hacking was deplorable. But there’s a big hole where the hugely popular paper used to be.

Back then, the knowing celebrated the NoTW’s demise. Hugh Grant told BBC Question Time: “I’m not for regulating the proper press, the broadsheet press. But we need regulation of the tabloid press.” Today Jeremy Corbyn agrees with that biased view: tabloid bad, broadsheet good. Or to put it in clearer terms: people who read the tabloids are the wrong sort and must be schooled by their knowing betters. We can know only what our betters think we should know.

Hacking is wrong but, you know, would you quite like to hear a phone call between Andrew and Epstein? Perhaps the hack would be more to your tastes if it were via Wikileaks and published in the Guardian?

It’s left to the Mail on Sunday to take up the cudgel. It published new photographs of Andrew’s visit to Epstein’s New York mansion in December 2010 – two years after the host pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor. Good on the Mail, then. Or not. Because according to Corbyn: “Just because it’s on the front page of The Sun or the Mail doesn’t automatically make it news.” Wrong. It does. Whether or not you choose to read it is another story. We’ll decide what’s worth knowing. You can stick your “ethical journalism” up your organic punter.

In a world where the press are compliant and controlled, newspapers will be run by the State and full of press releases, advertorials and PR, like this missive from Buckingham Palace, which says:

“The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent.”

Nothing to see here. Move on. Andrew is His Royal Highness – he never has been a human being like you slobs beset by the foibles of lust, pride and desire. Even the Sun is kowtowed, calling Andrew “foolish”. Better a fool than a paedophile’s princely pal. “What was he doing at the home of a convicted paedophile? What on earth was he thinking?” asks the Times. His thoughts are his own affair. His doings are what we want to know about.

Posted: 20th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


How to apologise for Brexit

Operation Black Vote launched the campaign, due to be shown in London and Manchester, to encourage people from ethnic minorities to register and vote in the EU referendum Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3609357/Operation-Black-Vote-unveils-controversial-referendum-poster-comparing-Asian-woman-angry-white-thug-Nigel-Farage-claims-goes-far.html#ixzz4gC3k2In0 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Why are public figures so bad at apologising? Brexit is a mess. Are we leaving? Why can’t politicians just own up and say: we were utterly shocked by the referendum result and are still reeling from it; We want to stop it because the EU is an umbrella beneath which we can hide; I love chlorinated chicken.

Jay Hendricks has a guide to getting it right:

  1. Own up to the mistake. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
  2. Focus on your emotions, not how you hurt someone else. Say how bad you feel about screwing up.
  3. Show how your mistake was an exception to the rule. You’re a great, thoughtful person who temporarily lapsed.
  4. Promise improvement and show what you’re going to do to fix any remaining problems.

Image: Operation Black Vote launched this dire campaign to encourage people from ethnic minorities to register and vote in the EU referendum.

Posted: 20th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


The Beatus Facundus: beautifying good and evil

Beatus Facundus


We’ve not witnessed the end of the world. So the rich industry in predicting it continues. One day it really will be all over, the huge whimper triggering the race in the afterlife to scream ‘first!’. Beatus was not the first to peer into the future and see a decisive battle between God and the Devil. The Spanish monk created his Beatus Of Liébana in the 8th Century, a chronicle of the biblical book of Revelations. In the 11th Century King Ferdinand I of León, Castile, and Galicia wanted an updated version of Beatus’s work. So he shipped in a monk called Facundus to copy it. You can see lots more of the Beatus Facundus on Flashbak.

Posted: 19th, August 2019 | In: Books, Key Posts | Comment


Childhood is dead

childhood CCTV

On the beach in lovely Dorset, I saw a party of school children. They were all dressed in high-vis jackets. All the adults around them were early middle-aged women dressed in light blue tabards, words on the back displaying their roles: ‘security’, ‘teacher’, ‘parent’ and ‘assistant’. A day out at the beach was an exercise in crowd control and policing. The message was clear: danger was all around. Lest the children be protected and watched at all times, strangers, the sea (calm and watched by lifeguards sat at beach pods), seagulls, men, sand and, well, anything would destroy them.

Maybe the children’s parents were tuning at home, their phones altered by apps into CCTV devices with which to observe junior’s every waking moment. For older children, which these were, mum should only use baby monitors to check if anyone’s coming down the stairs to catch them smoking in the garden. Anything else is spying.

As the children were trained in techniques that should serve them well for future careers as uber-compliant drones in corporate factories or the Labour Party, I read the New York Times:

School days are longer and more regimented. Kindergarten, which used to be focused on play, is now an academic training ground for the first grade. Young children are assigned homework even though numerous studies have found it harmful. STEM, standardized testing and active-shooter drills have largely replaced recess, leisurely lunches, art and music.

The role of school stress in mental distress is backed up by data on the timing of child suicide. “The suicide rate for children is twice what it is for children during months when school is in session than when it’s not in session,” according to Dr. Gray. “That’s true for suicide completion, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, whereas for adults, it’s higher in the summer.” . . .

And so for many children, when the school day is over, it hardly matters; the hours outside school are more like school than ever. Children spend afternoons, weekends and summers in aftercare and camps while their parents work. The areas where children once congregated for unstructured, unsupervised play are now often off limits. And so those who can afford it drive their children from one structured activity to another. Those who can’t keep them inside. Free play and childhood independence have become relics, insurance risks, at times criminal offenses. . . .

Kids need recess. They need longer lunches. They need free play, family time, meal time. They need less homework, fewer tests, a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning.

In short: leave them alone. True love is giving people space to be alone, bored and make up their own rules. Meanwhile… the drugs and therapy industries are booming.

Posted: 19th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Mike Tyson : marijuana marketing and short-term memory loss

mike tyson weed

Mike Tyson smokes a lot of marijuana. When former boxer told listeners to his Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast that he and co-host, former NFL player Eben Britton, burn about 10 tons of weed every month at his ranch and resort.

At Tyson Ranch, Tyson sells nine strains of weed, tincture and edibles. There are plans for “glamping” campgrounds. Would you stay at ‘Iron Mike’s’ place?

No idea. But the reporting on what looks a lot like a PR exercise makes no mention – not one – of the fact that Tyson served three years of a six-year sentence imposed in 1992 for raping a teenage beauty-pageant contestant. Not CNN, the Sun or the Mirror mention that. None of them mention that Tyson has convictions for assault and cocaine possession. Maybe it’s down to smoking too much and getting short-term memory loss?

As advocates for weed go, we can get better ones that Mike Tyson.

Posted: 15th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Sydney terror attack : four lads with a milk crate and never forgetting Ignacio Echeverría

Left to right: Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert, Luke and Paul O'Shaughnessy chased down a man who went on a stabbing rampage in Sydney CBD. (Supplied: Facebook)
RELATED STORY: Woman dead, another stabbed in back as passers-by halt Sydney CBD rampage

Apparently Mert Ney, the man at the centre of the Sydney stabbing, might have yelled “Allahu Akbar”. Some observers say the 21-year-old man’s pronunciation suggests he is unfamiliar with the phrase. Other says he was only a recent convert to Islam. Reports say he has “mental health issues”. He is “understood to have fled from a mental health facility before the rampage”. Was it a terror attack? It must have looked like one.

His face masked in a balaclava, the alleged killer was carrying a large knife. A 21-year-old woman is dead. Others are injured. But we have heroes. Lads gave chase, cornering the man, hemming him in with a wicker chair and a milk crate.

sydney chair terrir
This geezer with the chair stepped in – Via Twitter: @ayusha77)

Supt Gavin Wood from NSW police told reporters: “A number of members of the public physically restrained the offender. I want to acknowledge those members of the public who got involved. They were significantly brave people.” Not have-a-go-fools. Brave. Wood gets it.

paris train heroes
Anthony Sadler, Alex Skarlatos and Spencer Stone – the three courageous Americans who stopped a 2015 terror attack on a train in Paris

Commissioner Mick Fuller said the men who tackled the man suspected of stabbing two women are “the highest order of heroes”. Fuller gets it.

glasgow terrorist airport balls

Lee Cuthbert and his friends Paul and Luke O’Shaughnessy, all from Manchester in the UK, and Alex Roberts, from Cronulla, stepped in “We all kind of chased,” says Lee, “but it was Luke who was the real hero. He pursued him the hardest and managed to get a grip of him with another man.”

 Ignacio Echeverria, 39, “reacted immediately” by stepping into protect a woman who was being targeted
Ignacio Echeverria, 39, “reacted immediately” by stepping into protect a woman who was being targeted by terrorists in London on 3 June 2017. He saved her life. He was killed. He was a true hero.

Lead image: Left to right: Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert, Luke and Paul O’Shaughnessy.

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


Jeffrey Epstein: tortured to death in New York’s gulag

epstein

The New York Post invites readers to “Meet Jeffrey Epstein’s gang of accused slave ‘recruiters’”. Alleged. Nothing proven. Just to be certain of this: whatever the conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s untimely death, innocence must always be presumed. That goes for Epstein, too. The depraved convicted paedophile had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges. He died in an apparent suicide before taking the stand. We can say what we like about him now that he’s dead, engage in mental gymnastics that lightly skip over barriers to justice. But we cannot know for certain if he was guilty.

We can look for facts. The obvious one is to kick over the dead body at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center and look for a suicide note.

The latest news from the jail that guards were so overworked they might have not had time to check on their very high-profile suicide risk. Serene Gregg, president of the AFGE Local 3148, tells the Washington Post newspaper: “If it wasn’t Mr Epstein, it would have been somebody else, because of the conditions at that institution. It was only a matter of time for it to happen. It was inevitable. Our staff is severely overworked.”

But it was Mr Epstein. It was not somebody else. We wanted to hear what he had to say. If harsh jail life was part of the landscape preventing justice, surely this is the time to investigate suicide – the leading cause of jail deaths.

People in jail are seven times more likely to take their own lives than those housed in prisons. The U.S. Department of Justice said “two primary causes for jail suicide exist: (1) jail environments are conducive to suicidal behavior and (2) the inmate is facing a crisis situation. From the inmate’s perspective, certain features of the jail environment enhance suicidal behavior: fear of the unknown, distrust of an authoritarian environment, perceived lack of control over the future, isolation from family and significant others, shame of incarceration, and perceived dehumanizing aspects of incarceration.”

The World Health Organization notes: “A period of risk for pre-trial inmates is near the time of a court appearance, especially when a guilty verdict and harsh sentencing may be anticipated. A great deal of all jail suicides occurred within three days of a court appearance.”

The jail was built to accommodate 474 inmates, but held 763 male prisoners at the time of Epstein’s death, according to a statement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Prisoners have described seeing large rats in their cells, air conditioner units so noisy it is impossible to sleep, and absence of any natural light or sanitary water.

Gothamist:

In a special jail-within-a-jail called 10 South, alleged terrorists, mobsters and drug kingpins are subject to some of the most brutal conditions of solitary confinement in the nation. This extreme isolation, reserved for those charged with the most heinous crimes, was described as “a punitive measure that is unworthy of the United States as a civilized democracy,” according to a former special monitor on torture and punishment for the United Nations who investigated the case of one prisoner held there for three years.

Jeanne Theoharis is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College who has written extensively about conditions at MCC.
“If I described these conditions to you—filthy, freezing, no natural light, isolation so extreme that you’re punished for speaking through the walls, absurd rules like prisoners not getting to see the newspapers unless they’re 30 days old, secrecy so deep that people are force-fed and lawyers can be punished for describing the conditions their clients are experiencing—you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was Iran or Russia,” she said.
“But in fact this gulag exists right here in lower Manhattan.”

What price justice?

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


Jeffrey Epstein: Ghislaine Maxwell, sex and money

jeffrey epstein
Jeffrey Epstein – Cosmopolitan’s most eligible batchelor – 1980

This and that, they must be the same
What is legal is just what’s real
What I’m given to understand
Is exactly what I steal
I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I was shocked to find what was allowed

Shot By Both Sides, Magazine

Jeffrey Epstein’s death titillates us. We want to peeks behind the curtain and see what the super-rich get up to. We know Epstein was a depraved pervert. Prisons are full of them. But his money and friends in high places pull us in. We want to know what the rich don’t want us to know. We want media to publish what the rich and powerful don’t want them to. We fill the twilight space between truth and fiction with tales of murder, sex and corruption.

The Times shows us Ghislaine Maxwell. The tone is sympathetic ,as it should be. She’s innocent. The paper tells us that “as a young woman she was pushed into the spotlight by the death of her father, the media tycoon Robert Maxwell, and a roiling financial scandal.” Maxwell died on November 5, 1991. His body was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean after he went missing off his private yacht, Lady Ghislaine. The official inquest into Maxwell’s death decided that he died from a heart attack combined with accidental drowning.

Suicide? As Tom Bower notes in Maxwell: The Final Verdict: “Anyone who had fought on the front line from the Normandy beaches to Germany, facing constant danger and death for months on end from the enemy’s snipers and shells, was unlikely to suffer fear.”

A notion supported by this anecdote from the man who won the Military Cross. He was a captain fighting for the British in the heat of Nazi Germany. His family had been captured by the Germans in his native Czechoslovakia. Maxwell recalled an episode to his wife Betty:

“… so I sent one of the Germans to fetch the mayor of the town. In half an hour’s time, he turned up and I told him that he had to go to tell the Germans to surrender and hang the white flag otherwise the town will be destroyed. One hour later, he came back saying that the soldiers will surrender and the white flag was put up so we marched off, but as soon as we marched off a German tank opened fire on us. Luckily he missed so I shot the mayor and withdrew.”

The Guardian reported:

As London business analysts were predicting the break-up of his business empire under the pressure of £3bn debts, his widow Elizabeth and their son Philip flew to Gran Canaria and identified his body at the Gando air base.

Now, says the Times, Ghislaine Maxwell “has been thrust into the centre of a darker controversy by the apparent suicide of another man to whom her fortunes were tied”.

Epstein

Ms Maxwell, 57, has been described as the sometime girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his cell in Manhattan where he was being held pending a trial for sex trafficking. They met after she moved to New York following her father’s death, in the 1990s. She ushered a succession of the rich and famous into his orbit, including Prince Andrew, managed his households and recruited masseuses.

But in court papers released on Friday, she was said to have acted as a “madam” who trafficked minors.

One accuser alleged in a court deposition that Maxwell “recruited her under the guise of a legitimate assistant position, but asked her to perform sexual massages for Epstein, and punished her when she didn’t cause Epstein to orgasm”.

Claims and denials. Stick to the facts. Look for evidence. Prove guilt. One of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, has issued a statement:

“I speak as an outraged citizen and defense lawyer, not as a representative of Jeffrey Epstein’s defense team. There seems plenty of blame to go around for this unthinkable tragedy. Overzealous prosecutors bent on locking up a presumptively innocent man posing no real danger or flight risk.

“Pandering politicians who wrote the restrictive bail laws that empower them to do it. Compliant judges who let them get away with it while paying lip service to the presumption of innocence.

“Jailers who appear to have recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm’s way, heedlessly placing his life at risk and failing to protect him.

“An hysterical press corps clamoring to recharge Mr. Epstein with dated crimes for which he’d long since paid his debt to society under an arm’s length plea deal — just because he had the misfortune to be a wealthy man in the #metoo era whose former prosecutor happened to take a job with President Trump.

“Greedy plaintiff’s lawyers who instigated and exploited the media frenzy to line their own pockets.

“Breathless reporters excavating every corner of Mr. Epstein’s life to pile on, tear him down and kick him at his lowest — while still presumed innocent, before he’d had his day in court.

“All these actors appear to bear some responsibility for this calamity. All seem to have a share of Mr. Epstein’s blood on their hands. All should be ashamed of their behavior.

“I call for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s death. The public needs to know exactly what happened and why — and how his custodians could have let it occur.”

Bring it on. But this might just be – and hold the disappointment – the sad story of a rich man who liked abusing underage women.

Posted: 12th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


We all know who killed Jeffrey Epstein

Convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein knew a lot of very rich, very needy and very vain people. He’s dead. How he died is matter of conjecture: he was found dead in his jail cell in New York’s Metropolitan Correction Center. Was he on suicide watch? Yes. And no. If no, why not? Did the cameras watching his cell malfunction on the night of his death? Some say they did. Someone says there were “astounding blunders perhaps by multiple personnel at the Bureau of Prisons”.

Jeffrey Epstein Russians

Do people close to him think he was murdered? Maybe. Did Bill and Hillary Clinton order a hit on Epstein, their one-time pal? Not a word of evidence to support the theory of orgies and death on theLolita Express’. But those feel the news believe the rumours could be true. Conspiracy theories abound. The checklists is on: “Clinton-backed assassination? Trump-backed assassination? Coordinated hit by a cabal of international jetset pedos? The Saudis? Mossad?” The British – same people who killed Lady Diana? Trump?

“The immediate rush to spread conspiracy theories about someone on the ‘other side’ of [sic] partisan divide illustrates why our society is so vulnerable to foreign disinformation,” tweeted Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

“The Department of Justice failed, and today Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators think they might have just gotten one last sweetheart deal,” says Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). “Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him.”

And what about Epstein? Some say he tried to impregnate 20 women at a time. Well he was once Cosmo mag’s Bachelor of the Month.

Jeffrey Epstein Cosmopolitan mag's Bachelor of the Month
1980

Did the great and good all care that Epstein was a predatory sex offender? Why did he cop a sweetheart deal?

Who dunnit? Only you can decide…

Posted: 11th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein : Clinton, Prince Andrew and the smoking gun

prince andrew epstein
We never did see any video – The NE is often wrong; but it can be right

“Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”So says Buckingham Palace in response to the accusation that
Prince Andrew groped a woman against her wishes at convicted paedophile – now dead! – Jeffrey Epstein’s US home.

We know what Prince Andrew did not do because a day before Epstein was found dead in a New York jail cell, court papers about his case were released. Epstein was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

epstein prince andrew

The papers feature an allegation by Johanna Sjoberg. She claimed Andrew touched her breast at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. She alleges: “I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap. And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.”

‘Virginia’ is Virginia Giuffre, known as Virginia Roberts when she allegedly had sex with toe-licking Andrew at Epstein’s ‘Lolita island’. He denied that, too.

The British press is looking hard at ‘Randy Andy’:

prince andrew jeffrey epstein
prince andrew jeffrey epstein
prince andrew jeffrey epstein

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says Epstein’s death is “way too convenient”. “What a lot of us want to know is, what did he know?” asks Mr de Blasio. “How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in? Well, that information didn’t die with Jeffrey Epstein. That needs to be investigated, too… How on earth is he not under special protection? What’s really going on here? I think that’s a question that we must get a full answer to.”

Why did he need them to be close? And what did he have on them? Epstein was accused of hiring girls aged 17 and under for sex at his Manhattan and Florida piles between 2002 and 2005.

He escaped similar charges in a plea deal in 2008. He and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for over 40 years. Back then he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of soliciting prostitution, including with a minor. For that Epstein was sentenced to 13 months in the private wing of a county jail. Was it tough? No. The paedophile was allowed to leave for work – up to 12 hours a day, six days a week. No-one else – not one other person who allegedly arranged the girls and enabled Epstein’s crimes – was prosecuted.

“How come people who don’t have money get sent to jail — and can’t even make bail – and they have to do their time and sit there and think about what they did wrong? He had no repercussions and doesn’t even believe he did anything wrong,’’ asks Micelle Licata, who was 16 when she says Epstein abused her. “His lawyers were just in my life inside and out. They asked if I had a baby, if I had an abortion, ‘did you sleep with 30 different guys’ and ‘do you think that played a part?’ I said, ‘you’re going to come at me like that when you represent a guy who is doing this to hundreds of girls? How do you sleep at night?’”

Epstein “had a revolving door of middle and high school girls coming to his gated compound throughout the day and night.”

Why did he get away with it? And why now is he dead? We know that he kept photos of young girls. Did he keep records of comings and going to his mansions. Did he keep tapes?

Posted: 11th, August 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton exhale : Jeffrey Epstein is dead

jeffrey epstein passport

Convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been found dead in his New York prison cell. He was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Suicide? So they say. But he was on suicide watch, reportedly, after an alleged attempted suicide attempt last month. So how did he give everyone the slip?

Super-rich Epstein cultivated powerful friends, including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. And now he’s dead.

Conspiracy theorists – away you go.

Posted: 10th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Royal Family | Comment


Still I Rise : Maya Angelou resurrected to sell helicopters to billionaires

Maya Angelu
‘A private chopper is a human right’

How do you celebrate the life and thoughts of Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014), the American poet and civil rights activist? Well, if you’re running the twitter account for Billionaire Magazine – “the Official Account for Billionaire Magazine. World’s Finest Marketplace. Buy & Sell Jet•Yacht•Supercar•Estates Non-Political” – you see her words as a tool with which to flog ridiculously expensive stuff.

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!” says Maya Angelou in Still I Rise – her words now stripped of context and placed in the mouth of a private helicopter.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou – 1928-2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise

Posted: 8th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


UK Government profits from Canadian cannabis smokers

cannabis uk

At what point does the Government accept defeat in the war on cannabis? Glasgow food safety business R-Biopharm Rhône (RBR), a subsidiary of German parent company R-Biopharm, will supply test kits to a Canadian cannabis producer. The weed grower wants to rid their products of carcinogenic toxins. RBR makes kits that test for toxins in milk, spices, cereals and animal feeds. So why not put its skills to profit from the booming marijuana industry? Cannabis is legal in Canada. In the UK the law allows some medical use of the drug.

So here’s a renowned business based in the UK making money from weed. R-Biopharm Rhône product manager Claire Milligan tells the Herald: “Just like any other ingestible item, strict consumer protection legislation requires that cannabis products, including oils, cookies and cannabis plants themselves, should be tested for the presence of dangerous toxins. While the legality of cannabis products in the UK is currently the subject of wide-ranging debate, in those jurisdictions, such as Canada, certain states in the US, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands where consumption of cannabis products is permitted, testing for toxins remains of great importance. In the wake of the sale to our Canadian customer we anticipate further demand for our test kits in other regions where consumption of cannabis is legal as well as perhaps, at some stage, here in the UK.”

How do we feel about the UK doing business with companies whose produce is banned here? Any reputable British firm, which RBR certainly is, will pay taxes into the Treasury’s coffers. Some of that money will surely come from the Canada deal. Isn’t it a tad hypocritical of the UK Government to profit from the consumption of cannabis for non-medical use – the same drug it bans and arrests people for selling? How ethical is that?

Posted: 6th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Cannabis laws cut criminals’ profits and keep therapists busy

weed legal UK
Idea 1: ‘Legalise weed’

Hey, potheads. News is that you’re violent bunch of criminals. Yeah, you, the ones loafing in front of the telly and barking with laughter at the salamanders dancing in the embers of your ambition. The Sun says legalising cannabis in the UK “will fuel violent conflict in our towns and turn a new generation of people on to hard drugs”. Hard drugs like vodka and opioids? The BBC says “there are increasing problems with opioid painkiller addiction and abuse in other leading economies – including the UK.” That stuff is legal. The government makes money on sales of super-strong booze.

The paper cites “British drug counsellor Seven* Graham” [*not a typo]. He says: “If you think knife crime is bad now, it could get worse if marijuana is legalised.” It could, And then again, it might not. “Legal cannabis does not get rid of the dealers,” he warns, “it normalises drug use and makes the problem worse. In America, the black market in weed has boomed. Soon they want new, cheaper and more potent varieties that are not available from licensed sellers, and competition to supply it is still fierce. Legalisation has done nothing to solve gang violence. You would have to be mad to legalise cannabis in Britain.”

Cannabis is California, where we’re told the Sun’s ‘expert’ lives, is controlled. There’s a whole list of caveats to the drug’s legality. You must be 21 or older to possess, purchase or use recreational cannabis. This includes smoking, vaping and eating cannabis-infused products. Hey, kids – you’re still criminals. Weed is still cool. Way to go! It is also illegal to consume, smoke, eat or vape cannabis in public. It is illegal to open a package containing cannabis or any cannabis products in public. And the kicker: only state licensed establishments may sell retail cannabis products. If your man can undercut the State’s price and sell you the weed, he will. And if you’re under 21 and not flush with cash, that’s who you’re going to get it from.

Right now in the UK, you’re all criminals unless you’ve one of the handful of Britons who scored a hard-to-get doctor’s note. Apparently it will be worse for society if less of you are criminals. Got it?

Tottenham MP Lammy goes on the record. “I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs. For young people not to be criminalised by use and properly educated. I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled and properly organised.” Sensible stuff. But who sets the price? There will always be a black market for anything regulated. The idea of giving tokers choice as to the strength of their weed is right. Skunk is mind rot. But it’s all the dealer has. And it’s in demand. The Sun says 79 per cent of users in Canada, where the drug is legal, go to illegal dealers for stronger, cheaper skunk. Why? Is it because it’s all they know and given the high prices of weed, you want the biggest bang for your buck?

The Sun does not mention that 90% of cannabis sales were on the blackmarket in the quarter prior to the 79% figure. And: “Statistics Canada has carried out an anonymous online survey on Canadian cannabis prices, and found the average cost is $10.91C ($8.13) per gram when buying an eighth of an ounce (3.5 grams), the most commonly purchased amount, through government-licensed retailers. That’s more than 40% higher than what the same amount fetches on the black market.”

Conclusion: the State is greedier and less reliable than your local dealer.

In some parts of the country, only government-run shops are authorized to sell cannabis. In other provinces, it costs thousands of dollars in licensing and regulatory fees to set up shop.

“Drug takers are thrill seekers, and once their tolerance for one drug goes up they will start looking around for a new thrill, like cocaine,” says Graham. “Cocaine use is one of the biggest causes of knife crime in the UK.”

At which point you wonder who Seven Graham is why his views are amplified in the Sun? A quick search on the web finds this blurb on Facebook: “Seven Graham Solutions: uses holistic wellness coaching, education, training, kundalini technologies, creativity, media and communications to empower humans to overcome self limiting beliefs and behaviors; to achieve our full human potential.” Another result for ‘Seven Graham’ directs us to the IMDB page, on which we learn: “Seven Graham is an English producer/director/writer/actor and stand-up comedian Executive Producer of Ponyboi, Seven raised most of the capital to finance the film in the UK from Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson; who came on board as co-producers. Seven is an intersex, non-binary person, who uses the pronouns They/Their/Them.” He may, of course, be another Seven Graham. But if it is, he appears to be less than prolific.

The Sun cites another ‘expert’: ‘Eytan Alexander, managing director of addiction treatment firm UKAT, says: “We are already treating people hooked on cannabis and legitimising its use could create a new generation of addicts. We don’t know what the long-term effects of smoking potent marijuana will be.”’

UKAT caught the eye of the Sun’s sister paper The Sunday Times, which reported in 2018: “‘Parasites’ sell addicts to clinics for £20,000 — aided by Google – Referral centres and the ‘unethical’ search giant earn millions by exploiting the desperately ill.” UKAT denied all and any wrongdoing.

It’s all more than little confusing. Reporting on cannabis invites the questions: which industry is booming faster – weed or therapy? And which should we be more concerned about?

Posted: 4th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Canada’s weed amnesty

weed canada

Canadians spent $1.6-billion on over-the-counter cannabis in 2018. Free to use legally, Canada conducted a National Cannabis Survey and found that more middle-age people are smoking weed. In the first quarter of 2018, 646,000 people tried cannabis for the first time – half were aged 45 or older.

In 2016 55,000 out of 95,400 police-reported Controlled Drugs and Substances Act offences were cannabis-related. Amnesty now, right? It’s on:

Canadians are now able to apply for no-cost, expedited pardons for simple cannabis possession convictions, the federal justice minister announced on Thursday.

Speaking in Montreal, Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti said the measures of Bill C-93 will take effect immediately.
The new law allows people who were only convicted of a crime of simple possession — which is possession of under 30 grams — to have their record suspended, free of charge (the normal fee is $631) and before the 5-10 year wait period after a conviction usually required before applying for a pardon. People can apply even if they have outstanding fines or victim surcharges, which typically have to be paid prior to a record suspension application.

Apply here.

Posted: 2nd, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


CBD : the fight to regulate the new snake oil

marijuana art

Are all strains of CBD – cannabis extract cannabidiol – of equal worth? CBD is widely used in the UK to treat all manner of conditions, including: anxiety, pain and insomnia. The only US federally approved CBD-based medication is for epilepsy: Epidiolex is taken orally to help control seizures. The BBC says around 250,000 of us in the UK use CB regularly. It’s pretty clear more tests are needed. It’s pretty clear it helps some people.

A recent report by industry body the Centre for Medical Cannabis [CMC]blind-tested 30 products advertising themselves as CBD, bought on the High Street and online. It found almost half (45%) had measurable levels of THC, making them technically illegal in the UK.

Of course, the CMD’s research is intended to inform, campaign an enhance its position as “the UK’s first and only industry membership body for businesses and investors operating in cannabis based medicinal products (CBMPs) and cannabidiol (CBD) wellness markets”. With such a huge market on the horizon, CMD can expect some competition.


The researchers also found the presence in seven products of the solvent dichloromethane, which can cause wheezing and shortness of breath, at levels above food safety limits.

Some CBD products also contain very little of the advertised ingredient.

One sample, bought at a high street pharmacy chain, had no CBD in it at all and was selling for well over £50. Only 38% of the products tested had levels of CBD within 10% of the amount advertised on the bottle.


There is no legal requirement for these products to be tested, though some companies say they have rigorous testing regimes.

This is not about freedom. This is about regulation and profits:

CMC Confirms All its Members Products That Were Tested as Part of Their Groundbreaking UK CBD Market Study Had A CBD Content That Was Within 10% Of The Stated Content On The Label.

Or you could just, you know, buy some weed and smoke it…

Posted: 1st, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Meghan Markle : without the money, titles and snobbery and she’s just like us

Meghan Markle doesn’t have a job. So bored is the Duchess of Sussex that she’s apparently taken to writing snooty missives to the local parish council, helping Harry look as out of touch with the rest of us a teenage toff in Nazi uniform and editing TV Quick Vogue magazine. Her drive to be significant has succeeded in making the royals look even less significant.

Harry recently took a moment out from the polo and the holidays to explain racism to the masses huddled at his feet – “just as stigma is handed down from generation to generation, your perspective on the world and on life and on people is something that is taught to you. It’s learned from your family, learned from the older generation, or from advertising, from your environment.”

Prince Harry gets racism because he married “biracial” Meghan. This act of fancying a woman makes him woke. And if you can shell out the £4 for a copy of Vogue you can discover the 15 women Meghan views as “forces for change”. No changing your clothes, but global change from Namibia to Norway. You too can b like Harry. You too can learn from Meghan.

Among all of her women on the cover, there’s a mirror — “a space for you, the reader, to see yourself. Because you, too, are part of this collective,” she says.

It is, of course, laughable bollocks, a parodist’s dream, an exercise is ego-puffing from one of their own tribe, a parade of ideal womanhood more in keeping with an exclusive country club beauty pageant than a universal democratic wish list. Making you part of it is Meghan saying she understands that the nannies, cleaners, staff and serfs are people, too. In some ways you are her equal, although 3billion of you will need to fit into the square on Vogue’s cover reserved for one of her mates. Breath in. Think thin. And for that you and we are grateful. Now collect your Christmas orange and get back to work…

Posted: 1st, August 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Royal Family | Comment


Talking balls: Manchester United mix up and Arsenal’s Pepe not African

Daily Star fail

Tip-top reporting from the Daily Star, which manages to illustrate a story on Romelu Lukaku with a pen pic of his Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba. It also hails Arsenal’s new player the “France winger” Nicolas Pepe. He plays for the Ivory Coast, which isn’t in France. S

Oh, and Pogba hasn’t been left out of the United squad in Norway. He’s on the bench:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, July 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Apollo 11: they injected mice with moon dust

moon dust mice clangers

The Apollo 11 crew brought moon dust with them to planet Earth. “We had to prove that we weren’t going to contaminate not only human beings, but we weren’t going to contaminate fish and birds and animals and plants and you name it,” says Charles Berry, chief of medical operations for the Apollo missions. Space.com has more:

First, NASA chose the species it would use. In addition to the mice, the agency and its partners also selected other representative species: Japanese quail to represent birds, a couple of nondescript fish, brown shrimp and oysters for shellfish, German cockroaches and houseflies for creepy-crawlies, and more….

Then, the agency tapped into its precious cache of 49 lbs. (22 kilograms) of newly delivered lunar material. Scientists ground everything to dust, half of which they baked to sterilize and half of which they left as it was. The prescription varied a little with animal type: mice and quail got the lunar sample as an injection, insects had the sample mixed into their food and aquatic animals had the moon dust added to the water they lived in.

NASA watched the menagerie for a month in case anything seemed to suffer from the lunar exposure. The German cockroaches that were fed moon dust — true to the insects’ reputation — thrived despite the exotic diet. And all the animals did well, with one glaring exception: Whether in lunar water or not, many of the oysters died, which the scientists chalked up to having tested animals during their mating season.

Hard cheese for mice. But they should see what they did to the cats.

Posted: 30th, July 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment