Hear about the boy “blinded by chips and sausages”? Or as the BBC’s headline puts it, a little more accurately: “Teenager ‘blind’ from living off crisps and chips.”
The tabloid’s headline conjures all kinds of images (see above). But the story is less bizarre. The 17-year-old has long-standing eating issues for which he sought help. And for that we can only feel sympathy. Things got so bad that the lack of nutrients affected his vision. His diet is a composite mix of: French fries, Pringles, white bread, the occasional slice of ham or a sausage.
Truth is that the sausage might well be the heartiest thing he ate. Sausage did not make the teenager blind.
The boy’s visit to the Bristol Eye Hospital is recorded in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr Denize Atan, who treated him at the hospital, notes: “His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day. He also used to snack on crisps – Pringles – and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables. He explained this as an aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate, and so chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat. He had blind spots right in the middle of his vision. That means he can’t drive and would find it really difficult to read, watch TV or discern faces. He can walk around on his own though because he has got peripheral vision.”
Sausages are innocent. Mental health should not be mocked.
Carl Beech doesn’t have to pay back the £22,000 handed to him by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). He could feel a pang of guilt at his lies and dig deep into his prison overalls for spare change, leftovers from the compensation payout he received on the strength of Wiltshire Police’s support for his claims that he’d been tortured and raped by a ‘ring’ of child-killing VIP peadophiles. We know Beech invested £10,000 of his windfall as down payment on a £34,000 Ford Mustang.
What the man found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud – prison sentence: 18 years – is unknown. Beech needed to provide no evidence of his ordeal for politicians and police to find it ‘credible and true’.
Not everything about police work is so subjective as believing in tales of VIP peados. It’s pretty easy to see what happened to Mohammed Banares, who, reportedly, lost both his legs in an unprovoked machete attack in Birmingham. The CICA priced his ordeal at £32,000. “I’m at the point of giving up. I was hoping that CICA would help me to recover,” he says. “The stress of what should be a straightforward claim has left me depressed and without hope. I don’t know how I will manage my life going forward.”
The Government’s decision to prorogue parliament means MPs have less time to debate Brexit before the UK is legally obliged to leave the EU on October 31 – with or without a deal. Between three and eight parliamentary days will be lost. A parliamentary session usually lasts for one year but the current one has been going on for two years. The new session is hailed by the Queen’s Speech in which Her Maj lets us know the Government’s plans. Boris Johnson’s move is a high-wire act to achieve Brexit by giving MPs less time to block no deal, topple the government via a vote of ‘no confidence’ and keep kicking Brexit into the long grass with the aim of stopping it. The UK was supposed to leave the EU on 29 March. MPs rejected the deal negotiated with the EU three times. So the deadline was extended until 31 October.
Many protesting against a “coup” are more than happy to support a coup against democracy when the vote went against them. People like Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. She tweets:
By suspending Parliament to force through a No Deal, Boris Johnson and the Government would remove the voice of the people. It is a dangerous and unacceptable course of action which the @LibDems will strongly oppose.
Noble stuff. the problem is that she also says she would do “whatever it takes to stop Brexit” and when she would implement Brexit in Parliament if voters backed it again in a second referendum replied: “No, because I was elected on a firm manifesto pledge for Scotland’s pledge in the UK and Britain’s place in the European Union and that’s what Liberal Democrats are here to do. That is the mandate that we have.”
Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle is upset by Johnson’s entirely legal move. He tells the Mirror: “If the government tries to drive no deal through by stopping parliament from sitting, we cannot just rely on the courts and parliamentary process. We need a mass movement of resistance, with marches, civil disobedience and protests in every village, town and city of this country.”
And what about Jeremy Corbyn, a man who lead by asking what others would do and then does nothing? He’s written to the Queen asking for her to stop it all. How’s that for sticking it to the elites?
Do you know what’s on a 20 euro note? Yes, yes, the number 20. Very good. But what’s the picture of? It’s an image of “Gothic architecture”. Euro banknotes “show architectural styles from various periods in Europe’s history, but do not show any actual existing monuments or bridges.” They’re works of fiction based on the something familiar and hackneyed.
In the UK, we don’t have Euros, of course, preferring sterling and pictures of Prince Andrew’s mother – and nothing honouring children’s author Enid Blyton. The commemorative coin to mark the 50th anniversary of her death (a morbid plan) has been shelved because the Royal Mint’s advisory committee says Blyton is “racist”, “sexist” and “homophobic”. None of which is desirable. Fearing an unfavourable response, the coin to celebrate (?) the death of the best-selling children’s writer won’t be made.
So we’re stuck with British money featuring “people who have shaped UK society through their thought innovation, leadership or values”, such as the anti-creationist Charles Darwin.
Perhaps the bigger question is not how the Royal Mint choses certain people and non-people – Paddington Bear, Harry Potter, C3P0 and characters from Game of Thrones – to be on its commemorative 50p pieces but if those people want to be associated with the nastiness and horrors of banking.
Carly Barton was hit by a stroke in her early 20s. She discovered that cannabis alleviated the continual pain, what she describes as a “ridiculous amount of all-over pain – it just feels like you’re burning from the inside out, like my bones have been replaced by red hot pokers.” But cannabis was illegal in the UK.
Medics gave her strong painkillers. Over time she developed a tolerance to the effects of the legal opiates – “a cocktail of substances which included morphine and fentanyl.” She says: “I was struggling to feel the world as I hobbled along in a zombified state; this was not sustainable. I started looking at end-of-life clinics online.”
She became the first person in the UK to be legally given herbal cannabis . But with regulation comes increased costs. It cost £2,500 of her own money for three-months of pain relief. Her prescription comes from a private specialist. The NHS won’t provide it. “We are going to be put in a position where the rich are patients and the poor are criminals,” she told the Daily Mirror.
“I am going to openly break the law until I can access my medicine or they give me some kind of exemption,” said Carly in April. “I do not see myself as a criminal. There are two doctors who have prescribed it to me and now there is a vague law which does not seem to see it as a potential medicine.”
Carley’s Amnesty is a campaign she runs which seeks to allow other patients afflicted by chronic pain to use cannabis legally.
Yorkshireman Haddon Salt run a fish and chips empire that in the 1960s exceeded 500 stores. Kentucky Fried Chicken noticed the immigrant’s success. In 1969 the chicken mongers bought all of the H. Salt, Esq. Authentic English Fish and Chips outlets. The NY Times:
An initial Google search revealed that this shop was the last gasp of a once-sprawling fish-and-chips empire with hundreds of locations that started with an immigrant’s secret family recipe, flourished into an eight-figure deal with Colonel Sanders and ended in collapse.
It took several years and the research help of friends to track down Mr. Salt. We found him in a remote retirement community in Southern California’s desert. The rest you can see in the film before you.
For every icon there are those who were almost famous. And perhaps they, even more than their conqueror, have the lessons we need to hear.
Image: H. Salt Fish and Chips restaurant on Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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?
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
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.
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.
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:
Image: Operation Black Vote launched this dire campaign to encourage people from ethnic minorities to register and vote in the EU referendum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Commissioner Mick Fuller said the men who tackled the man suspected of stabbing two women are “the highest order of heroes”. Fuller gets it.
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.”
Lead image: Left to right: Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert, Luke and Paul O’Shaughnessy.
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.
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?
This and that, they must be the same– Shot By Both Sides, Magazine
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
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”.
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.
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”.
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 the ‘Lolita 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.
Who dunnit? Only you can decide…
“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.
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.”
The British press is looking hard at ‘Randy Andy’:
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.”
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.