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England Football diversifies the 3 Lions

On Twitter @EnglandFootball think the 3 lions on England football shirts and not sufficiently diverse. Identity politics will eat itself.

Posted: 8th, May 2021 | In: News, Sports | Comment

Survey finds people are too easily offended by speech

Are you bothered by political correctness? Do you watch what you say in public for fear of causing offence? A Pew Research Center survey says most people in the UK, US and France think people today are too easily offended.

In the UK, 53% of us believe people are too easily offended; France – 52%; US – 57%.

It’s quite a close split:

In all three European countries surveyed, respondents are closely divided over whether people today are too easily offended or whether people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others. However, only four-in-ten Americans think people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others, with a majority (57%) saying people today are too easily offended by what others say.

“I think people get scared to be passionate about being British these days because you get labeled as being a racist.”

–Man, 40, Birmingham, Right Leaver

Those ages 65 or older in France and Germany are more likely than those ages 18 to 29 to say people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others, while in the U.S. and UK there are no significant age differences…

In the UK, those who identify as Remainers are much more likely than those who identify as Leavers to say people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others (53% vs. 27%, respectively).

Older and wiser?

Posted: 7th, May 2021 | In: News | Comment

After Hartlepool one Labour MP wants a return to Jeremy Corbyn’s shredded 2019 manifesto

Labour have lost Hartlepool to the Conservatives in a by-election. Jill Mortimer won the vote. She becomes the first Tory MP for Hartlepool since the constituency was formed in 1974. It has returned a Labour MP in every vote since. On Twitter, Labour MP Richard Burgon wants party leader Keir Starmer to go back to the good old days of Labour under his mate Jeremy Corbyn. He’s the bloke who in 2019 led the party to their worst defeat in 84 years. Burgon has a plan:

Maybe if Labour stopped talking less about Gaza and more about Grimsby, appealed to the woking class and not just the middle-class woke, they might attract more votes?

Posted: 7th, May 2021 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

When The Bidens and the Carters met the result was a truly strange photo

Biden carter

The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) tweets the picture of President Joe Biden and the First Lady with the caption: ‘We’re pleased to share this wonderful photo from the @POTUS and @FLOTUS visit to see the Carters in Plains, Ga.! Thank you President and Mrs. Biden!’

The Carter Center was ‘founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter & Rosalynn.’ Yes, that is former US leader Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn in a photo that looks like an outtake from Roald Dahl book abut ventriloquists. More strange than wonderful.

Posted: 5th, May 2021 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Sarah Halimi: Jews are the West’s approved target now

It took the best part of a week for the BBC to pick up the story of Sarah Halimi, the Jewish pensioner murdered in an anti-Semitic attack.

Sarah Halimi was 65-year-old when in April 2017, when convicted criminal Kobili Traoré broke into her Paris flat, beat her and threw her from the window to her death. As he assaulted the retired doctor, Traoré cited the Koran and yelled “Allahu Akbar”. After defenestrating the apartment block’s only Jewish resident, the Muslim declared: “I have killed the devil.”

But the court said this was no murder driven by anti-semitism. Yes, it was an anti-Semitic incident. And he hated Jews. But, you see, the killer had smoked weed. Citing Article 122 of the Penal Code, the judges said Traoré had been in the grip of a “psychotic episode” brought on by cannabis use. His “discernment” had been “abolished”.

His crime was that of a “madman”. Experts peered into the killer’s mind and found that he had no case to answer for. There would be no murder trial. Just stay in hospital for the killer. “The crime was the crime of a madman,” said the experts who examined the killer in a long justificatory piece this week in Le Monde. “And in France we do not judge the mad.”

There would be no justice for Sarah Halimi. Smoke weed and ensure your victim is a Jew and you can escape justice. Because it’s different for Jews.

Bernard-Henri Lévy summed up: “A man who savagely beat and murdered an old Jewish woman while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’ is set free because he was high. Another man in France recently received a prison sentence for killing a dog.”

France has ruled: take enough drugs and you can kill a Jew. These are dangerous times to be Jew in Europe.

Posted: 4th, May 2021 | In: News | Comment

Manchester United: 16 years of Glazer greed boils over

Did you see the Manchester United fans on the Old Trafford pitch before their club’s match with Liverpool and think, ‘Finally!’ After 16 years of ownership by distant, greedy venture capitalists, United supporters were seizing the chance afforded them by The European Super League debacle to demand ‘Go!” It feels like now or never for fans to get rid of the Glazer family. Just as it’s time for Arsenal fans to rid themselves of the no less greedy, remote and abysmal Kroenke clan and Liverpool to get shot of John W Henry. The ESL proved that mistrust of money-obsessed American owners is well placed. Getting the match called off makes the money-men take note. What’s the Premier League without TV?

It wasn’t all good. Far from it. There was violence after fans had left the stadium. One policeman’s face was slashed with a broken bottle. “Those in the stadium were evicted by officers but outside on the forecourt hostility grew with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses,” Greater Manchester police said in a statement. “Two officers have been injured, with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.” There is no excuse for any of that.

Manchester United said “criminal damage” caused by protesters breaking into the ground, and “violence towards” staff, other fans and officers were now a police matter. “The club has no desire to see peaceful protestors punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season-ticket holder or member identified, per the published sanctions policy,” the club said in a statement.

But the protest and the forces driving evens was sound. Not that the greedy, entitled Premier League is listening, offering the pathetic reaction that “fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification”. But no-one’s been listening to fans on Twitter. Now they’re protesting and around the ground, they are.

Lead image: Manchester United supporters demonstrate against a possible takeover of the club by American businessman Malcolm Glazer prior to their English Premiership match against Arsenal at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, in this Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004 file photo.

Posted: 4th, May 2021 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment

The Queen’s Beasts commemorative coin

Anyone watching Sky News will be forgiven for not realising when the show ends and the adverts start. Today’s news is peppered with the story of a “giant” gold coin weighing 22lb (10kg) marked with a £10,000 denomination.

Produced at the Royal Mint, this gold coin (cue patriotic-sounding music and posh-toned voiceover by man in waistcoat) “marks the end of the mint’s Queen’s Beasts commemorative coin collection, inspired by 10 stone statues which lined the Queen’s route to Westminster Abbey at her coronation in 1953.” (Coin revolves. Spitfire flies over white cliffs. Queen waves. Hurst scores.) “The coin reunites all 10 beasts in one design, including a lion, griffin, falcon, bull, yale, greyhound, dragon, unicorn and a horse.”

Other beastly creatures not featured include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Posted: 29th, April 2021 | In: Money, News, Royal Family | Comment

The fake ‘John Lewis furniture nightmare’ and Dubya’s plastic turkey

This April you could read Tatler’s story on the fiancée of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 32-year-old Carrie Symonds, “the most powerful woman in Britain, reportedly shaping her partner’s thoughts on the environment, animal rights and other issues at the front and centre of politics today.” And scatter cushions. Tater’s Anne McElvoy looked at the decor in the couple’s flat above Number 11 Downing Street and noted the “John Lewis furniture nightmare”. They would turn “Theresa May’s John Lewis furniture nightmare into a high-society haven”.

The new lodgers overhauled Theresa May’s “John Lewis furniture nightmare” with a pricey makeover modelled on the work of eco-interior designer Lulu Lytle.

The flat is news because Johnson’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, alleged the Prime Minister once planned to have donors “secretly pay” for the work on his flat. Labour wants the prime minister to reveal the full amount spent and who paid. The Times notes:

The Conservative chairman faces fresh questions about how the refurbishment of Boris Johnson’s flat in Downing Street was funded after leaked emails suggested that a donation to the party was set aside for the project.

Ben Elliot, a nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall who has run the party since Johnson became prime minister in 2019, was told last October that a big donation should be used to fund a redecoration of Johnson’s residence above 11 Downing Street.

But rather than talking about alleged sleaze, greed and a clubby elite running the country, nodding heads at opining about how if John Lewis merchandise is good enough for them and May, it’s damn well good enough for Symonds. But Symonds never called it a “John Lewis nightmare”, a writer did. Never mind the facts. The story is out.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds: “I think a lot of people would look at what’s taken place here with the Prime Minister’s flat really with incredulity. I have to say I really like John Lewis myself, I don’t really see a big problem with John Lewis.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth: “We know he [Mr Johnson] wanted to upgrade his flat because he didn’t think John Lewis furniture was good enough. I think John Lewis furniture is pretty good actually, pretty posh stuff.”

The Indy‘s Kate NG just misquotes:

The Indy in “13 of the best reactions to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symond’s ‘John Lewis nightmare’”: “Wait? John Lewis a “nightmare”? We could scarcely believe it either, and neither did these commenters.”

Such are the facts.

Meanwhile, the media is still tucking into George Dubya Bush’s plastic turkey?

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

Post Office scandal boss Paul Vennells keeps her CBE

Paula Vennells, the former chief executive of the Post Office (2012 – 2019), is to leave her role a non-executive director of the retailer Dunelm and step back from her “regular” duties as an ordained Church of England minister. Vennells was head of the Post Office during the Horizon IT scandal which led to the wrongful convictions of former postmasters. Last Friday, 39 former Post Office workers saw their criminal convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal. What they endured was horrific.

Lord Justice Holroyde said the Post Office “knew there were serious issues” and had a “clear duty to investigate”. But the Post Office “consistently asserted that Horizon was robust and reliable” and “effectively steamrolled over any sub-postmaster who sought to challenge its accuracy”.

Convictions were based on the flawed software system Horizon which showed shortfalls in their accounts where they did not exist. Branded thieves, liars and fraudsters over the missing money, these people and many more – more than 700! – had their lives ruined. Ms Vennells earned big. She was given a CBE title for “services to the Post Office and to charity”.

“It is obvious that my involvement with the Post Office has become a distraction from the good work undertaken in the Diocese of St Albans and in the parishes I serve,” says Vennells. “I have therefore stepped back with immediate effect from regular parish ministry, and intend to focus fully on working with the ongoing government inquiry to ensure the affected subpostmasters and wider public get the answers they deserve.”

She is a member of the government’s Financial Inclusion Policy Forum. Why a government inquiry only? Why is this investigation into the Post Office’s abhorrent behaviour not a criminal matter? Did they know the system was flawed?

Ms Dawn O’Connell never lived long enough to see her name cleared. Read her story here.

Posted: 26th, April 2021 | In: News | Comment

‘I Love You Earth’ – Yoko Ono is here to rescue us one slogan at a time

“I Love You Earth,” states the legend on billboards in London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. Some advertising hoardings bearing those words are illuminated, so you’d suppose the intention is for the message to be seen night and day. You might wonder what ‘EARTH” is, a new banking app, or perhaps the Covid-19 virus has mutated to such a degree it can now speak and has hired a PR firm to win over the masses, perhaps the company that marketed football’s failed Super League project is in need of new more likeable clients. that billionaire football club owners.

It turns out the message is from Yoko Ono, the “artist and activist”. ‘I love you Earth’ was, as you no doubt know, a song on Ono’s 1985 album titled Starpeace. T

he billboards have been erected by the Serpentine Galleries to mark Earth Day. Organisers of the project tell us the phrase is a “reminder to those who see it to ask themselves, do I love the Earth? How am I expressing that love? Could I do more?” A Serpentine source adds: “As communities across the UK return to public places in our cities, they will be welcomed by Yoko Ono’s powerful positive statement for the planet, I Love You Earth.” Most of us would settle for a pint and a hug with friends and family. But Yoko is there to welcome us from enforced hibernation with a something more vacuous than a Boris Johnson press briefing.

The bigger question might be, when Earth has been setting the agenda in the form of a deadly virus, should we love it or pave it over, as The Beatles did with Penny Lane?

Posted: 22nd, April 2021 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment

Brands not fans killed Super League

Super League

Super League had a naff name and an agenda based on greed. Told the billionaires had been plotting the heist for years, you boggle at how ignorant so many mega-rich people can be. They ignored the fans but didn’t even get Amazon on side. Aside from the greedy club owners, who was backing the big project? The fans rebelled. And the narrative is that fan protests the got the horror show shut down. But the clubs owners’ big failure was in not selling Super League to broadcasters and huge brands. Where was the feature length Nike ad with Lionel Messi and Ronaldo extolling the virtues of Super League and how it would improve the planet / climate change / BLM and whatever noble causes the money machines can latch on to to give their quest for profits some soul? Grace Robertson makes the point:

If you were listing important commercial partners to top European clubs, you’d put Nike pretty high on the list, right? Right. Nike are pretty damn important to the football industry.

Take a look at how Nike’s big splashy ad of the past year, titled “You Can’t Stop Us”.

Let’s read that monologue, delivered by Megan Rapinoe, in full:

“We’re never alone. And that is our strength. Because when we’re doubted, we’ll play as one. When we’re held back, we’ll go farther. And harder. If we’re not taken seriously, we’ll prove that wrong. And if we don’t fit the sport, we’ll change the sport. We know things won’t always go our way. But whatever it is, we’ll find a way. And when things aren’t fair, we’ll come together for change.

We have a responsibility to make this world a better place.

And no matter how bad it gets, we will always come back stronger. Because nothing can stop what we do together.”

…The message is very obvious: “We are a caring company that shares your values. So buy our shit.” …

If a corporation decides to put itself front and centre on a sponsorship deal with the Super League, what brand values is it communicating? Not the values they all seem to want to go for. It’s the brand values of the early 90s and the Premier League. It’s that of greed and wealth. It’s exactly what they don’t want to be associated with.

For years big clubs wielded their power to get what they wanted. Do as we say or else we will leave. Well, they tried it. And – boy – did they fail. In the longterm, football fans could be big winners with better competition and the rise of mid-ranking sides.

Read it all.

Posted: 22nd, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Sports | Comment

Are Stan Kroenke and his son Josh the most clueless men in football?

Manchester City have withdrawn from the European Super League (ESL). Chelsea set to join them. When those clubs take the moral high ground you know you’re on a ride to hell’s basement.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal are left in the ESL mire. The pick of the disasters has to be Arsenal. The Gunners are owned by ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke, a distant American billionaire who has placed his charisma-free son Josh in charge of Arsenal – the London office of his empire.

Not only have the Gunners fallen away as a competitive force under Kroenke’s ownership, but Arsenal have now left the European Clubs Association after confirming that they will take part in the doomed European Super League. The move meant that Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham had to resign from his position on ECA’s board. He was only appointed to the ECA’s board in March.

“If you want to win championships then you would never get involved,” said Stan in 2016. “I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.”

Live the dream, eh, Stan. And now he’s cost the club face – to go with the loss of Champions League football and class. But he’ll always have his money. It’s up to Arsenal fans to tell the Kroenkes what they think of them. Time for them to go. But how can it be done? How do you get rid of people who apparently don’t care for the club they’ve turned into a corporate husk?

Posted: 20th, April 2021 | In: News, Sports | Comment

The European Super League is a FTSE for Football – bring it on!

On the telly, the latest Tory housing minister and a Labour MP whose name escapes everyone are lamenting the new European Super League, a new tournament featuring most of the continent’s richest football clubs. The politicians harp on about “grass roots football”, the fans being the game’s true lifeblood and the joy of a less fancied side doing well.

You might roll your eyes. Governments support a made-for-TV Premier League, open football to foreign owners, suck up to repressive regimes, tell fans to sit down and shut up, big up globalisation and then are aghast and outraged that the game develops into a European Super League – a FTSE for football. From bubble matches, to all-seater stadia and the policing of language, governments have tried and tested new methods of control on football supporters.

Football fans are portrayed as race rioters-in-waiting. You can kick racism and sectarianism out of football, wear your rainbow laces and elevate the women’s game, but show me a black editor on a national newspaper title, a border down the Irish Sea and the figures on domestic violence and we’ll see who really matters.

Lead image: Sheffield F.C. (here pictured in 1857, the year of its foundation) is the oldest surviving association football club in the world.

Posted: 19th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Key Posts, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment

Aggressive police arrest, hog-tie and mock elderly woman with dementia picking wild flowers by roadside

In this video taken by a police bodycam, we see a 73-year-old woman accosted, pushed to the ground and handcuffed. Her offence appears to be picking wild flowers whilst walking. The woman, one Karen Garner, was reportedly suspected of shoplifting from Walmart in Loveland, Colorado. The man behind the bodycam is Loveland Police Officer Austin Hopp. Two other officers then join in.

Karen Garner has dementia and sensory aphasia, an inability to understand speech, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on her behalf. The lawsuit alleges the nastiness left her with a dislocated shoulder, a fractured humerus bone and a sprained wrist.

Hopp is now on administrative leave.

As for the alleged shoplifting:

Garner wound up wandering out of the store without paying for Pepsi, a candy bar, a T-shirt, and some stain-removing wipes—worth less than $14 altogether.Walmart employees stopped her and took the items back. They then refused her attempt to pay and called the police, according to the lawsuit…

She was taken to jail and charged with theft of less than $50, obstructing a peace officer, and resisting arrest, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, though the Larimer County District Attorney agreed to dismiss the case in August 2020.

And – yeah – get a load of his hands-free driving.

Posted: 18th, April 2021 | In: News | Comment

Is mass murder best for planet Earth?

The Guardian wants us to know why Genghis Kahn was “good for the planet”. Sure the forces slew around 40 million people. In every captured town, Khan’s forces killed everyone, even the cats and dogs. “But boy, was Genghis green.” Genghis Khan conquered an empire larger than the Roman Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. The story is from 2011, but it remains a classic, like the end of snow and George W Bush’s plastic turkey.

The Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Energy “has concluded that the 13th-century Mongol leader’s bloody advance, laying waste to vast swaths of territory and wiping out entire civilisations en route, may have scrubbed 700m tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere – roughly the quantity of carbon dioxide generated in a year through global petrol consumption – by allowing previously populated and cultivated land to return to carbon-absorbing forest.”

Green murder

In next week’s news: why Pol Pot ‘s human compost is best for Gaia and how wildlife thrived when the Warsaw Ghetto was liquidated.

Posted: 17th, April 2021 | In: News | Comment

Artist adds smiles to female prisoners and victims of Khmer Rouge genocide

Deeps fakes, fake news and now adding to the list of repurposed media (aka ‘your truth’) are happy victims of genocide and smiling female prisoners. Vice has apologized for its profile of artist Matt Loughrey. Vice failed to note why people in dire straits were apparently smiling for their portraits. (You can see the original photos of female prisoners here).

The Guardian reports:

Cambodia has condemned images published by Vice media group that featured victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide, colourised and with some apparently edited to add smiles to their faces.

The artist Matt Loughrey modified images taken at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands of people were tortured and interrogated before they were sent on to the killing fields of Choeung Ek.

Detailed records were kept by jailers, who took black-and-white photographs of every prisoner. The images were profiled by Vice on Friday, in an article that has since been removed.

File under: before and laughter.

Spotter: BB

Posted: 17th, April 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Dread Beat and Blood: Lynton Kwesi Johnson, the Brixton Riots and The Spectator’s ‘Immigrant Swamp’

People had been getting angry. Forty years ago they’d had enough of heavy-handed police tactics and unchecked racism. On April 11, 1981, 13 young black people were killed in a fire at a house party in New Cross, London – an act of suspected arson for which no-one has been arrested. The Metropolitan Police were too busy looking for crime elsewhere to seek justice for the victims. The Met was busy sussing out suspected criminals using a system based on skin colour. Operation Swamp “resulted in a significant number of black youths being stopped and searched”. In 1978 Margaret Thatcher asserted that Britain “might be rather swamped by people of a different culture”.

Brixton in south London, exploded in rage. At around eight o’clock on the Saturday evening of 14 April 1981, someone threw a Molotov cocktail through a window of The George Hotel on the corner of Effra Parade and Railton Road. This was night two of what came to be known as the Brixton riots. In the 1970s The George had been the subject of several local marches. The South London Press wrote that the arson was “undoubtedly an act of revenge for years of racial discrimination”.

The music of Lynton Kwesi Johnson took on a prescience. In 1982, The Spectator noted that Johnson’s poetry written in Jamican patois “wreaked havoc in schools and helped to create a generation of rioters and illiterates”. Slum music for slum people. In 2012, Johnson’s dub poetry won the Golden PEN award for his “distinguished service to literature”. This was music and poetry as forces for understanding and liberation.

“In terms of our country, it would be foolish to say that we haven’t made some progress. Because we have,” he said in 2018. The poet who arrived in the UK from Jamaica when he was 11, went on: “But, right now, we are living through a time of reaction; the rise of Conservative populism. And some things simply won’t go away. I’m sure I’ll be crucified for saying this, but I believe that racism is very much part of the cultural DNA of this country, and most probably has been so from imperial times. And, in spite of the progress that we have made, it’s there. It is something we have to contend with in our everyday lives.”

Posted: 14th, April 2021 | In: Music, News | Comment

Pregnant women, children and cancer patients banned from Caraboa Cup Final

The Caraboa Cup final between Spurs and Manchester City will be watched at Wembley by 4,000 paying fans – half each for each club. But you can only apply for a ticket if you’re over 18, not pregnant and not a cancer patient or ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’. Fans who do get a ticket must take a lateral flow coronavirus test at a designated site in the 24 hours before the game on April 25. And they must bring proof of a negative result, either a text or an email. But if you need to be clear of Covid-19 to attend, why is anyone else banned?

The arbitrariness of this ban on some people attending a football match is plain. And what if a teenager, pregnant woman or someone with MS wants to watch the game and does get a ticket? Will they be arrested? A fine? Do you need to prove you are not pregnant, or the state prove that you are? How about carrying an ID card to attend the game, one with your date of birth and medical history on?

Big Brother Watch reported in February that police have issued around 70,000 fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) since March 2020 for alleged lockdown breaches. What was once free and taken for granted is now something we need to ask permission to do. And as with many forms of control, football fans will be the testing ground.

Posted: 13th, April 2021 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment

Police hunt for world’s biggest rabbit

If you get offered a four-foot and 3-inch long rabbit, perhaps in the carpark of a newly opened pub, say ‘Darius’ and see if the bunny reacts. Because Darius, a continental giant rabbit, has gone missing from his hutch in Stoulton, Worcestershire. His owner, Annette Edwards, has offered a £1,000 reward for the return of Darius, ruled to be the world’s longest rabbit in 2010. Police are nt thought to be rounding up the usual suspects:

Posted: 12th, April 2021 | In: News | Comment

Rocky Horror Picture Show plays to empty house for 54 weeks

You can watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night at Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon. But for the past 54 weeks, the cinema’s Covid-enforced closure has meant no-one besides staff has been there to see it Nathan Williams, host of the venue’s weekly Rocky Horror nights, has been hitting the ‘play’ on the VT. The Oregonian:

“I watched it alone. I watched it during the snowstorm,” said Williams, who serves as emcee for the theater’s “Rocky” nights. “I was in a position to keep a flame burning, to keep a torch lit.

“I’m just a guy holding a torch for the city of Portland, for all the weirdos, for all the people who don’t have a safe place to call home, we’re home […]

Since 1987, members of the Clinton Street Cabaret have acted out “Rocky” on a stage below the screen at the Clinton Street Theater, mimicking the film in what’s called a shadow cast.

“‘Rocky’ has always been a place for the weird, quiet kid and the loud extrovert and the person who’s just looking for something fun to do and the theater kids and LGBTQ kids,” said Loren Thompson, the current president of the cabaret. “It’s where all the misfits come to find family.”

The Clinton Street Theater has re-opened.

Posted: 12th, April 2021 | In: Film, News, Strange But True | Comment

The Brains Trust Bandits: Gun Assault criminals caught on CTV refused to wear Covid-19 masks

In America, such the bolshiness in refusing to wear a mask to stop the spread of off Covid-19, that one alleged criminal let his slip from his face. So here he is on CCTV, wearing his mark as a chinstrap. The other two being sought by police in Washington DC, didn’t even bother to go that far.

MPD seeks assistance in identifying suspects in an Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) & Assault on a Police Officer offense that occurred on 4/8/21 in the 5000 blk of Benning Rd, SE. Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/text 50411 Release:

No-one said you had to be bright to be gun-toting criminal.

Posted: 9th, April 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

The Glorious 12th: Metro tabloid creates contender for worst front-page headline of all time

There’s been rioting in Northern Ireland. But not to worry because you can get some noodles in a cafe on Monday. It’s the ‘Glorious 12th’ in The Metro. Yeah, really. Who writes The Metro’s front page? Who edits the thing? Mind blowing. Surely it’s time to let the paper’s staff have access to the Internet.

For anyone not au fait with what The Glorious 12th is – especially if you hang those words beneath a picture of violence in Northern Ireland – here goes. Wikipedia:

A contender, then, for the worst front-page headline of all time.

PS: If only there were some sort of library open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, where hapless journalists could find stuff out.

Posted: 8th, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Oxford-AstraZenaca : Countdown to Fear

Sorry. No Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine for you under-30s. Having been linked to extremely rare blood clots in adults, the advice is to chose a different jab, the Pfizer one, say, or Moderna vaccine. But the UK’s medicine regulator (MHRA) says the AZ vaccine is safe and the benefits of taking it outweigh the risks for the “vast majority of people”. You take it if you like. But would you? You’re never ill until you are, at which point everything changes. So try to avoid catching Covid-19, of course. One dose has made some people feel floored for a few days. Imagine what the full-blown illness is like. Get the jab.

Which one would you pick? The MHRA says under-30s with no underlying health conditions should be offered an alternative vaccine “where available”. Vague? How about this – Mr Hancock says there is “no evidence” of rare blood clots after the second dose of the vaccine. If your first was the AZ treatment, you get offered only the same supplier for the second dose.

Dr June Raine, head of the MHRA, says the link between rare blood clots and the AZ jab is “firming up”. She says more evidence is needed to establish any link.

And then things get arbitrary. Use of the AZ vaccine has been stopped in Denmark; restricted for people 60 and over in Germany, Spain and Italy; and only be given to those aged 55 or over in France. Why the differences? And don’t those differences spread uncertainty and fear?

A good time, then, for clear and concise journalism to serve information to the people. Well…

Daily Express: What Iceberg?

The Guardian : Fear the Fear.

Daily Mail: The Patriotic Thrombosis

The Times: Johnson Knows

The Sun: What Are The Odds (With A Corona Lager Chaser)

The Telegraph: Neil Astles, 59, died. He suffered 10 days of worsening headaches and loss of vision after receiving a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We are still shocked at the loss of our brother… from my own perspective, I sat and watched [England’s deputy chief medical officer] Professor Van Tam yesterday on the news talking about the clot risk and the benefits to population of having the vaccine,” Neil Astles sister Alison told ITV.

“And as I sat there and watched him, it occurred to me that my family and me were in a particularly unique situation to give a very strong public health message about this.

“Because it’s not statistics to us, it’s an actual, loved human being who died.

“At the same time, I still believe that for the vast, vast majority of us the safest way forward is for people to have the vaccine, because that in the end will save the most lives.”

The i: No. That wasn’t what was said.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 8th, April 2021 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment

Keir Starmer apologies for meeting Christians at Easter


Keir Starmer has apologised for spending part of this Easter weekend visiting a church in Brent, London, run by Christians who think homosexuality is a sin. It can be dangerous to literally demonise homosexuality, the right for people to love. Because gay sex is love. But that’s religion for you: it does so like rules and judgement. The Guardian reported: “Keir Starmer criticised over visit to church where pastor opposed same-sex marriage.” Look out for similar headlines with ‘church’ replaced by any other type of orthodox house of worship. Starmer apologised. He removed the video of his visit. “I apologise for the hurt my visit caused,” said Starmer. By which token, where should he visit – and do garden centres all want him there?

Posted: 6th, April 2021 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Naked woman arrested in Dubai

Dubai is horrible. You can get all kinds of food at any time of day, the sun shines and your holiday cash supports a regime anyone half decent should find revolting. Today, at least 12 women – one Russian; 11 Ukrainian – were arrested for posing naked for a photo on a balcony. Their alleged crime is “public debauchery”. The rich and righteous locals prefer to take their debauchery offshore, either by jet or boat.

Public debauchery carries a sentence of up to six months in prison and a 5,000 dirham fine (£981). Reports in Russia suggest one man has also been pinched. He faces up to 18 months in prison.

“Such unacceptable behaviours do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society,” a Dubai police statement said.

Here’s what Amnesty has to say about this morals:

The authorities, particularly the State Security Agency (SSA), subjected detainees, including foreign nationals, to arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and enforced disappearance. The authorities also restricted freedom of expression, imprisoning government critics and holding them in dire conditions. In a positive development in women’s rights, almost 200 women stood in the Federal National Council (FNC) elections in October, more than double the number in the last elections; still, women continued to face discrimination in law and in practice. On migrants’ rights, the authorities removed the job title criteria for sponsorship, which allowed more migrant workers to sponsor family members to live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, migrant workers remained tied to employers under the kafala (sponsorship) system, which made them vulnerable to labour abuses and exploitation. The UAE continued to deny nationality to thousands of individuals who were born within its borders. While no executions were reported, courts continued to issue death sentences.

The BBC adds:

Rape victims, too, have been prosecuted under the laws against extramarital sex. A BBC Arabic investigation in 2015 found that hundreds of women, including rape victims, were being imprisoned under this law every year – and that domestic servants were particularly vulnerable.

But you can get pie and mash in 90 degree heat at 3am. So, all to the good, eh…

Posted: 5th, April 2021 | In: News | Comment