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News | Anorak - Part 15

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UFOs spotted over Ireland: little green men sought

UFo irelandIreland’s reputation as a haven for little green men has reached far into the cosmos. UFOS have been spotted over the Emerald Isle. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is investigating the strange flying objects.

The BBC takes up the story:

(A British Airways) pilot, flying from the Canadian city of Montreal to Heathrow, said there was a “very bright light” and the object had come up along the left side of the aircraft before it “rapidly veered to the north…”(Another Virgin pilot said) there were “multiple objects following the same sort of trajectory” and that they were very bright.

A shooting star, perhaps?

The pilot said he saw “two bright lights” over to the right which climbed away at speed. One pilot said the speed was “astronomical, it was like Mach 2” – which is twice the speed of sound.

The IAA says things will be “investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process”. In the meanwhile, round up the usual suspects and tell RyanAir some new competition has arrived…

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


The diamond ring made entirely of diamond

jony ive diamond ring

 

How big is your diamond ring? Well, it depends on the size of your finger? Sothebys is overseeing the sale of a wholly diamond ring created by Apple design guru Jony Ive and Marc Newson. If you want it made bigger, well, save up. And you can all get one because the all-diamond diamond ring is totally man-made:

Creating a ring-shaped diamond is no small feat; the diamond block will be faceted with several thousand facets, some of which are as small as several hundred micrometers. The interior ring will be cylindrically cut out for the desired smoothness using a micrometer thick water jet inside which a laser beam is cast. The finished ring will have between 2000-3000 facets which has never been seen before on a single piece.

The first one will set you back an estimated $150-$250k. If you want a really big one, say for a tunnel into Yemen, price is on application. (Call me Saudi Arabia, I have ideas…)

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Newspaper says Spike Lee not Stan Lee is dead

Stan Lee, fabled comic book storyteller, is not dead. Well, he’s not if you get your news from this paper, which declares: “Spike Lee Dies at 95.” A grinning Stan Lee seems to enjoy the news in New Zealand’s Gisborne Herald:

 

spike lee stan lee

Mr Lee is dead

 

Spike Lee is away:

 

via GIPHY

 

Spotter: @HuwZat

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Asia Bibi: Boris Johnson seizes the opportunity to do the right thing

Is there room in the country for the right sort of asylum seeker? The Daily Mail, a paper whose existence gave rise to thousands of Twitter accounts that use it to define everything they are not, leads with its support for Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman persecuted for her Christian beliefs and put on death row for eight years. Now released from that ordeal she faces the very real prospect of murder by Islamic extremists. Bibi’s crime was to be accused of being rude about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as she argued with some Muslim women over a cup of water during a fruit harvest in 2010. She was soon beaten up, arrested, charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death by the hangman’s rope.

The case eventually came before Pakistan’s supreme court – yep, this one went to the very top. The judges said the accusations were “concoction incarnate”. In other words, the other women were liars. Bibi’s enemies had used her religion – she’s a Roman Catholic – against her to appeal to the county’s bigotry. It worked. For eight longs years and more it worked. It’s still working. Islamists want her dead. So is there room in the UK for Asia Bibi?

 

Asia Bibi

Daily Mail comes out in support of Asia Bibi – but why not the Guardian and other papers?

 

Wilson Chowdhry, of the British Pakistani Christian Association, says Britain is allegedly not offering Ms Bibi asylum because of fears of “potential unrest in the country”, as well as attacks on embassies. Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan refuses Bibi’s right to leave the country. Chowdhry says Khan is effectively “signing her death warrant”. Bibi’s lawyer has fled Pakistan.

Into the vacuum of Western indifference to the plight of a Catholic woman steps Boris Johnson. In a letter to the Home Secretary, the former foreign secretary who would be Prime Minister writes:

“I am well aware, as a former foreign secretary, of the constant threat to our overseas missions but we cannot allow the threat of violence to deter us from doing the right thing. I do not think it is a dignified position for the UK, given our historic links with Pakistan and the extent of our influence there, to look to others to do what we are allegedly nervous to do ourselves.”

Easy from the sidelines, no? Where was Boris when Asia Bibi was in prison? When a politico speaks it’s loaded with political ambition and vested interest. But the grandstanding and opportunism do not dismiss the point. Asia Bibi needs our help. It’s our duty to provide it. At a time when Donald Trump belches “America first”, promoting censorship and illiberalism with a policy that says the US will be fair to any country that is fair with it no matter how heinous their suppression of positive freedom, we need more than ever to amplify our belief in free speech, free expression and democracy. The Leader of the Free World has abdicated. Let’s fill the void.

Asia Bibi should be given safe haven in this country. If we want to go it alone post Brexit, this is how you show your worth. Boris Johnson, the Mail and everyone who values freedom, equality and liberty should demand Asia Bibi is granted asylum in the UK.

 

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Arsenal balls: Danny Welbeck – more injury facts

When Danny Welbeck hurt his ankle playing for Arsenal, the Press were quick to brand it a “horror injury“. Welbeck was in pain. That much was clear. But it wasn’t look-away horrific. And we don’t yet know how bad the injury is. It wasn’t like when Welbeck’s Arsenal team-mate Aaron Ramsey had his tibia and fibula broken at Stoke City, or when Eduardo had his leg badly broken when playing for Arsenal at Birmingham City. Eduardo’s injury was so nasty that Sky Sports decided against showing replays of it. Educardo’s bone ended up poking though his sock.

And Can we talk about David Busst? On April 8, 1996, Busst was playing for Coventry City at Old Trafford to take on English football giants Manchester United. After two minutes of the match played, Busst had suffered compound fractures to the tibia and fibula of his right leg. He never played professional football again.

The Express sticks with the hyperbole and tells its readers today: “Welbeck is in hospital and will undergo surgery after breaking his right ankle, which will rule him out for the remainder of the season.” It will? Arsenal haven’t said anything other than the injury looks “serious”. Oddly, another Express story tells readers: “Welbeck’s latest injury setback is expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least four months.”

Hold that scalpel! The Star says: “According to the Daily Mail… doctors will give him an MRI scan to see if he requires an operation.”

Welbeck Express

 

welbeck express

 

 

As the papers guess, and anyone sane wishes Welbeck a speedier recovery than the ghouls do, the Sun says Arsenal are already looking for his replacement. So how do you replace a man valued at £10m and in the final year of his contract – a player whose not been offered a new deal and was likely to be sold in January to Crystal Palace?

They say Emery could now make a £45m bid for Lille’s Pepe in January.

DAN BUSTER Arsenal transfer news: Danny Welbeck injury forces Unai Emery to step-up £45million pursuit of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.

Gunners need a rethink of their January sales plans as rookie Eddie Nketiah is now the main back-up for front two Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette

Got that? The Gunners will splash out £45m on a new face because Danny Welbeck got injured. No full diagnosis has been made. The “England striker could also have suffered ligament damage” says the Sun. He could have. Or maybe he didn’t? As for Pepe, well, the Sun provides not a single fact to support the news that Arsenal want the Lille man.

 

Arsenal transfer pepe

The Sun

 

Despite the lack of facts, the Express and Star pile in:

 

Pepe Arsenal

The Express

 

 

In other news, Pepe’s price has rocketed:

 

 

 

Arsenal “could” face competition for his signature form Barcelona and Sevilla, says the Sun. The Express says Bayern Munich want him. The Times says: “Manchester City bid for Lille’s Nicolas Pepe .” And the Manchester Evening News says, predictably, Manchester United are chasing Pepe. Meanwhile, the player is still at Little. And Welbeck hasn’t been  despatched to the glue factory. Yet.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 10th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment


Macron honours Jew, gays and gypsy killer Philippe Petain: ‘one out of two ain’t bad’

They say the victors write the history of war. Not always they don’t. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to award one of the losers a big tribute. Marshal Philippe Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), the Nazi collaborator and head of the Vichy government who oversaw the murders of thousand of French Jews sent to death camps, is to get a salute. Why? Because, says Macron, Pétain “was a great soldier in World War One”. World War 2, not so much. But you should have seen him before he facilitated mass murder and the persecution of “undesirables”: Jews, métèques (immigrants from Mediterranean countries), Freemasons, Communists, Gypsies (also known as Romani) and homosexuals. Whataguy!

 

Paris 1941

Paris 1941 –

 

“I consider it entirely legitimate that we pay homage to the marshals who led our army to victory,” said Macron. “Marshal Pétain was a great soldier in World War One.” His role in the 1916 defence of Verdun was hymned. He soon replaced General Robert Nivelle as commander-in-chief of the French army. When the Germans invaded France, Pétain opted for self advancement, eugenics, genocide, theft, rape, racism, the betrayal of his country, the death of those brave French fighters who continued to fight German occupation and a nice office in a spa town.

 

Petain

Petain – one out of two ain’t bad

 

 

The head of French Jewish organisation Crif, Francis Kalifat, says “the only thing we remember about Philippe Pétain is that he was, in the name of the French people, held in national disgrace during his trial in July 1945. I am shocked that we can honour a man who, it must be remembered, was himself responsible for the deportation of Jews from France, including the Vel’ d’Hiv raid ”

The Vichy regime rounded up 75,000 Jews, and deported them to the death camp. When the war ended, Pétain was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. But he never go the chop. The French government considered his behaviour in WW1 and commuted the sentence to one of life imprisonment. And now he’s to be honoured.

Never forget. Whatever they tell you. Never forget.

STOP PRESS: Macron’s gone full retreat. How very fitting. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux now says: “We had announced that we would honour the marshals of the Great War. Some have deduced that Pétain was one of them; this is not the case. If there was confusion, it was because we were not clear enough on that point.”

Bollocks. Cowardly bollocks.

“I consider it entirely legitimate that we pay homage to the marshals who led our army to victory,” Macron said. “You can be a great soldier during World War I and then go on to make disastrous choices during World War II.”

Pétain would have approved of such craven backsliding. It’s the most fitting tribute to him of all.

Posted: 9th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Arsenal balls: Danny Welbeck’s ‘horror’ injury revealed

Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, and Danny Welbeck suffers a “horror ankle injury” that “leaves Arsenal team-mates shocked”. So says the Daily Mail. It looks pretty nasty. But the paper has no idea what the damage is. “Danny Welbeck out for the season?” asks the BBC. Dunno. Is he?

The Sun agrees that it is a “horror injury”. Welbeck contested a header and landed “awkwardly”. There was no blood. He was not unconscious, says the Beeb.

 

 

The Sun then tells us it looks like a “broken or dislocated right ankle”. Which is it? He will “almost certainly be taken to hospital for treatment”. I might not be medial man but a broken ankle usually necessitates a trip to the hospital. The paper then adds: “The ex-Manchester United ace is also expected to now pull out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next weeks two matches.” Maybe. But if Wayne Rooney can get a recall, maybe a one-legged Welbeck still stands a chance of being selected to play. “It could well be his last appearance for the Gunners,” says the Sun.

Over in the Indy, their experts can confirm – or guess – that Danny Welbeck is “to have an x-ray”. When does an injured footballer not have a scan? But it must be bad, right? “The injury will almost certainly see him withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for matches against the United States and Croatia,” says the website.

It might be bad. It might be a “horror” injury. Or it could be pulled ligaments. Or a bad sprain. Or a fracture – which, according to the NHS, involves placing the injured ankle in a protective boot for around 6 weeks. Welbeck might be ok to play in two weeks time for England, say the papers. Or maybe he’ll never play for Arsenal again, say the same papers.

They shoot horses.

Such are the facts.

UPDATE: Sky Sports: “Danny Welbeck “broke something in his ankle” during Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, according to head coach Unai Emery.

“We think it’s a serious injury. Every injury is different. He broke something in his ankle and it’s a different injury than another. Now he’s at the hospital and the news is at the moment we are going to wait, but we think this is a serious injury.”

Get well soon, Danny.

Posted: 8th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Brexit v Peter Gouldstone: Let’s blame Remainers for granny bashing gone mainstream

warveteran peer gouldstone brexit

 

The tabloids are tucking into the brutal attack on Peter Gouldstone, a 98-year-old beaten by burglars at his home in Bounds Green, North London. The burglars – one or two; Mr Gouldstone cannot be certain how many people brutalised him in his own home – took a telly (estimated value: £50) and some other personal possessions. The Mirror leads with a question: “WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?” We? Us? Me and you? We didn’t change into violent thugs. We’d like the sods caught and punished. We’d like Mr Gouldstone to make a speedy recovery. We’d like more people to check on their elderly neighbours. We’d like more respect for the aged. And, no, no-one has yet blamed Brexit for this crime – but let’s not let the opportunity pass. If racist incidents can be pinned on Brexit, why not crimes against the aged? Did granny-bashing go mainstream when the older (and wiser) voted for Brexit?

 

peter gouldstone

A victim of ageism

 

The novelist Ian McEwan said Breix was secured by “a gang of angry old men” who’d soon be dead, blessedly. He calculated: “By 2019 the country could be in a receptive mood: 2.5 million over-18-year-olds, freshly franchised and mostly Remainers; 1.5 million oldsters, mostly Brexiters, freshly in their graves.” Lord Heseltine was totting up the bodies. “Of course what you then find is that every year a serious number of elderly people die who are Brexiteers,” he told LBC. “Their place is taken by a group of younger people who are pro-European. So I don’t believe that there is a majority anymore, so if we have all this talk of democracy – let’s put it to work.” Alastair Campbell said “it’s time the youth was heard on Brexit”. Esquire magazine’s voice of reason noted that “some of the oldest and whitest people on the planet leapt at a chance to vote against the monsters in their heads”. GQ broadcast the argument for “a total ban on anyone of retirement age voting in the EU referendum … We take pensioners’ driving licences away… why not their right to vote?” “The wrinkly bastards stitched us young uns up good and proper on Thursday,” wrote Times critic Giles Coren. We should cut them off. Rewrite the franchise to start at 16 and end at 60 and do this thing all over again.” And we can identify which oldies to deride by asking them one question: Vat did you do in der var?:

“And don’t go telling me that we owe at least a debt of respect to the elderly. Respect for what? Don’t confuse the elderly of today with the elderly of the recent past. This lot did not fight a war (not many of them). They didn’t free us from the yoke of tyranny. They didn’t live in modesty and hardship and hunger so that future generations might thrive. They just enjoyed high employment, good pay, fat benefits, enormous pension privileges, international travel, the birth of pop music and lashings of free sex. We don’t owe them a thing.”

The Sun says Peter Gouldstone is a “war hero”. Best he wear his war medals from now on so the righteous, fair-minded youth and their middle-aged enablers can identify which oldies to hate.

 

brexit old

 

And on it went. TV presenter James Corden chimed: “I can’t get my head around what’s happening in Britain. I’m so sorry to the youth of Britain. I fear you’ve been let down today.”

The Daily Record offered: “The generation aged between 18 and 30 have been done precious few favours by the ballot-box activities of their elders. They have inherited international uncertainty, low wages, zero-hour contracts, and a political system which, at times, looks broken beyond repair.” Louise Ridley told Huffington Post readers, the young had been “screwed by older generations”.

“I saw this older couple in the street and just felt this sudden, enormous wave of fury towards them and their generation. It was almost physical,” said a knowing Guardian writer. Owen Jones wanted the young to “ring your grandparents” and tell them to vote Labour.

The old, bigoted enemy within ruined the world. Get the old! Ageism is good.

Maybe Peter Gouldstone’s ordeal has nothing to do with Brexit. Maybe the people who attacked Peter Gouldstone have no-one to blame but themselves. Maybe broken bones are not the same as harsh words, and equating physical violence and offensive language is wrong; “to claim that a speaker or writer can be held directly responsible for the actions of others infantilises the listeners.”

Maybe – just maybe – each of us is an individual who just account for their own actions. Let’s not give the bastards who attacked Peter Goulstone any excuse. It wasn’t us. It was them.

Posted: 8th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Who beat up 98-year-old Peter Gouldstone?

warveteran

 

If you know who attacked Peter Gouldstone at his home in Bounds Green, London, do tell the police. Mr Gouldstone is 98. He’s a widower. One or two people broke into his home, beat him and dragged him around his house. They booty? A £50 television – a 26inch Panasonic set in black .

His son, Simon Gouldstone, 67, tells the news wires: “A member of the public tipped me off and I rushed over there. I had a key for my dad’s house but I had to force it open as there was a chain. The place was so cold and quiet, then I found my dad lying on the floor beside his bed.

“His TV was gone and the place was a mess. He was semi-conscious and he couldn’t speak or move, he was clearly agitated. It was clear he had been beaten badly, he had bruises everywhere and was bleeding from his head.”

Know who did it? Do tell the police.

Anyone with information can call Enfield CID via 101 quoting CAD 2140/6Nov, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Posted: 7th, November 2018 | In: News | Comment


Blessed are the Nazi Hunters: Johann Rehbogen stands trial

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

 

You can’t see Johann Rehbogen’s face. The German judicial authorities say the former SS guard’s face must be pixelated. Given the passing of time, the trial of Johann Rehbogen promises to be one of Germany’s final Holocaust trials. He’s 94. And depending on your view that means he’s an old man who should be left alone, or a man accused of one of the worst crimes in human history who lived free and protected by others for decades. Blessed is the man who lives to see his children grow old.

And cursed is his soul if you believe in that sort of thing and know that Johann Rehbogen is accused of being an accessory to the murders of at least 300 Jews, Russian prisoners and political dissidents at the Stutthof camp near Gdansk. The victims were killed by toxic injections to the heart, poison gas, the hangman’s rope, electrocution and the result of being ordered to stand naked outdoors. Mr Rehbogen was at the camp from 1942 to 1944. He was born in Romania. He joined the SS at age 18. He denies all wrongdoing. He says he was unaware of the killings and did not participate in them.

The Times:

There were more than 29,000 deaths — and possibly as many as 65,000 — at the camp over the course of the Second World War. When the Red Army captured Stutthof in May 1945, its soldiers discovered a laboratory where Nazis experimented on corpses. Mr Rehbogen seemed to weep silently as lawyers representing Holocaust survivors and relatives of the dead recounted their suffering in the camp. Some criticised the Germany for having taken more than seven decades to bring the guard to justice. One said it was “too little, too late”. The defendant spoke only to confirm his identity. His lawyers said he would make no plea until they received an expert opinion on procedures of the camp from a historian.

Ah, the banality of alleged evil:

After the war he completed a PhD in business management and taught landscape gardening. He is divorced with three adult children. He has admitted working at the camp but repeatedly denied knowledge of the executions.\

Why are old Nazis hunted? Simon Wiesenthal (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005) explained in The Murderers Among Us: “But I, even before having had time to meditate carefully, understood that we should not forget, if we all forgot, the same thing could happen again after twenty, fifty or a hundred years.”

Never forget. And fight. Never stop fighting:

“When the Germans first came to my city in Galicia, half the population was Jewish: one hundred fifty thousand Jews. When the Germans were gone, five hundred were alive. … Many times I was thinking that everything in life has a price, so to stay alive must also have a price. And my price was always that, if I lived, I must be deputy for many people who are not alive.”

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

Posted: 7th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


BBC trolls Everton fans over donation to Liverpool fan Sean Cox

seamus coleman

 

Clickbait Balls courtesy of the BBC, which spots Everton player Seamus Coleman contributing to the fund set up to help Sean Cox, the Liverpool fan set upon by Roma fans before a Champions League match. The BBC says Coleman is “worried Everton fans would question him for donating money to Liverpool fan Sean Cox.” Sheesh! Coleman must think Everton fans are real numbskulls. Are they so loyal to Everton that they’ll condemn a player for helping a fellow countryman – both Coleman and cox are Irish.

Clicking on the link we’re told:

Everton defender Seamus Coleman worried fans would question him for making a donation to help an injured fan of city rivals Liverpool.

Maybe rabid Liverpool fans don’t want his money? Or maybe the BBC’s heading is total clickbait balls:

“You think ‘Do you put your name towards it or not?'” Coleman said. “You might get people saying ‘he might have put more money in’ or whatever,” he added… “I wanted to put my name to it because sometimes that raises more publicity. That’s what the Liverpool manager did.”

Mentions of Everton fans? Nil.

 

More BBC clickbait soon…

Posted: 7th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


Roald Dahl: Royal Mint rejected writer over his anti-semitism

Roald DAhl beer

 

You won’t see a coin that commemorates the life of Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) because the Royal Mint was put off by the author’s antisemitic views. The Guardian says the Royal Mint’s planned to produce a coin in 2014 to coincide with the centenary of Dahl’s birth. But this was stopped when it was decided that Dahl was  “not regarded as an author of the highest reputation”.

Instead of Dahl, the Mint opted for coins to mark the lives of William Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter.

The decision was made despite the Royal Mail honouring the children’s author with a set of commemorative stamps celebrating his books, many of which have been adapted into films. These include Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG.

The minutes state: “The themes set out below were considered but not recommended. 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl. Associated with antisemitism and not regarded as an author of the highest reputation.”

In 1983…Dahl told the New Statesman: “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”

 

anti-Semitic new statesman kosher conspiracy

The Labour Party supporting New Statesman had a question that might have been rhetorical. Roald Dahl never edited the publication.

 

Dahl told the Independent in 1990:

“I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become antisemitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism. I think they should see both sides. It’s the same old thing: we all know about Jews and the rest of it. There aren’t any non-Jewish publishers anywhere, they control the media – jolly clever thing to do – that’s why the president of the United States has to sell all this stuff to Israel … ”

So instead of Roald Dahl, we got coins for Potter, the woman who opined: “The strongest impelling motive of the Jewish race is love of profit as distinct from any other form of money earning.”

What is is about wealthy, guilt-ridden Christian anti-Semites and their hatred for Jews who work in the face of prejudice to be as successful as they are?

Spotter: Guardian

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Everton and Liverpool United for Sean Cox

cox liverpool roma

Sean Cox

 

Nice one, Everton defender Seamus Coleman. He’s donated €5,000 (£4,300) donation to Sean Cox, his fellow Irishman. Mr Cox was attacked by Roma supporters before their Champions League semi-final against Liverpool at Anfield in April. Says Coleman:

“We have to be together. I think football is great for sticking together. Rivalries go out the window with stuff like that; you don’t see a crest or a jersey, you see a man who came to support his team and unfortunately it didn’t end too well for him that night.

“Thankfully there is a fundraising page and I don’t know the ins and outs of how he is but hopefully they can raise some money for him.

“I saw on social media the Liverpool manager had donated some money and saw there was a link to a GoFundMe page. I wanted to put my name to it because sometimes that raises more publicity. That’s what the Liverpool manager did.

“You think ‘Do you put your name towards it or not?’ because you might get people saying ‘He might have put more money in’ or whatever.

“It’s not about Liverpool and Everton, this is about a man who unfortunately was part of something he did not intend to be. I’ve had people in the street, Liverpool fans, stop me and say ‘Thanks very much’.”

You can go here to donate to Sean Cox.

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Liverpool, Money, News, Sports | Comment


Grenfell: Six people arrested over burning of cardboard model; no-one arrested over 72 deaths

Grenfell fire bonfire night

 

Six people have been arrested over a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower burning on Bonfire Night in someone’s private garden. Someone filmed the pre-medicated idiocy – the Tower was populated with paper faces stuck at the windows – and stuck it on WhatsApp. Lots of other people saw the video when it reached Twitter and Facebook, and became understandably upset. So six arrests have been made – that’s six more than have been arrested for any part in the actual fire in which 72 people lost their lives.

The six have been arrested on suspicion of committing a public order offence. Which offence is unclear. It could be a hate crime, but, then, what isn’t? Under the Public Order Act, racially or religiously aggravated offences carry a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both. What is the sentence for being a bellend who made a despicable video? Is making an offensive joke in private a crime? Maybe Theresa May, the actual prime minister, who called the video “utterly unacceptable”, can advise?

 

Burning effigies of people for a laugh. Artist Frank Shepherd puts the finishing touches to the Edenbrige Bonfire Society Celebrity Guy which has been unveiled as the model Jordan and featuring the faces of former husband Peter Andre and current partner Alex Reid.

 

On the video, onlookers can be heard shouting “Help me! Help me!” and “Jump out the window!” A kind soul says: “All the little ninjas getting it at the minute”. Ninjas appears to be a slight on Muslim women who wear the veil. Another quips: “That’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent.”

Police have been visibly concerned and swift to act. They swooped on a home in South Norwood, south London. Things were taken away. Moyra Samuels, from the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, say the video “doesn’t represent ordinary British people”. No-one said it did, did they? “But there is a worrying rise of racism in this country at the moment. And that is concerning, because it’s now starting to impact on us directly, which means that we actually need to be thinking what we do about this, and how we respond to this as a whole.”

If found guilty, the media and judiciary will name them. And we can all realise that we’re reading about people mocking others who died in horrific circumstances because it’s a rare event – thankfully – and not an inspiration.

UPDATE: The alleged nasties have been named in the media. The Times:

Five men aged 19-55 and from south London are being held on suspicion of public order offences after handing themselves into a police station last night. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police are searching a property in South Norwood, south London, where two of the suspects, Clifford Smith, 49, and his son Bobbi Connell, 19, are believed to have hosted a bonfire night party on Saturday…

Mr Smith and Mr Connell were arrested with Paul Bussetti, also from south Norwood, a 49-year-old man from Lambeth and a 55-year-old man from Beckenham. All are suspected of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act.

Mr Connell’s grandfather, David Connell, told Mail Online: “It’s an appalling thing to do given the tragic loss of life. It’s in dreadfully bad taste and utterly shocking and I don’t condone it at all. I don’t know what they were thinking.”

 

 

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


England book a one-night stand with former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney

In its desperation for bums on seats and to milk the England brand, the FA have commissioned Wayne Rooney for a one-might stand. The former Manchester United striker and England captain has been picked to play in a friendly against the USA at Wembley. The match has been called “The Wayne Rooney Foundation International”, but the Times says the player’s eponymous organisation won’t get a penny. The charity will only benefit if fans who’ve forked out for the privilege of seeing Rooney play in an England testimonial make their own donations on match day. Putting the tin lid on they box of balls is Rooney’s desire to were his old No.10 jersey.

The FA is expected to earn up to £3 million in ticket sales for the match.

Disappointingly, Gareth Southgate, the England manager, backs the plan and has spouted the usual X-Factor-style balls: “Acknowledging the Three Lions legacy has been a major part of our journey with this group of young players and Wayne Rooney is a hugely significant part of that history.” It’s marketing 101. Call England the ‘Three Lions’? Tick. Guff on about a “journey”. Tick. Talk of legacies. Tick.

In other Wayne Rooney news, an alleged one-night stand with these people was a lot cheaper:

 

Gina McCarrick

Picture 1 of 4

In a Sunday Mirror exclusive, 37-year-old brunette Gina McCarrick, dressed in her favoured cowgirl outfit, said: 'Wayne didn't turn me on at all. He was ugly. He had a face like a smacked arse.' Rooney later confessed to having visted the den around 10 times.

 

 

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


Charlene White gets the Poppy Day row right

The usual mouth breathers have been having a go at Charlene White over her refusal to wear a poppy onscreen while reading the news. She’s made an entirely fair point about this, has Ms. White, but she’s not in fact correct about the poppy wearing either. Really, rather the point of the whole exercise is to remember those who fought so we’d have the freedom to wear a poppy or not as we wish. This is something the Royal British Legion at least understands.

The mouthbreathers:

ITV News presenter Charlene White has explained why she will not wear a poppy while on screen after receiving a wave of online abuse.

The 38-year-old was most recently called a “f*****g disrespectful c***” this week after she didn’t wear a poppy while delivering the news.

One person on Twitter said: “If @CharleneWhite isn’t willing to wear a poppy she shouldn’t be on our TV screens. She’s more than happy taking a wage out of this country. F*****g disrespectful c***.”

Yes, quite, delightful isn’t it. By the way, it’s not the country that pays her wage, it’s the advertisers, the people who cough up the money to put those little bits inbetween the programs.

Charlene White as responded on Twitter:

 

The explanation is that she supports a number of charities. And she’s not allowed to support them on air, wearing the right ribbon for this or that. The poppy, yes, that can be worn, that has a special exception. But she’s not happy with supporting just the one – if she can’t support all, then none.

No, we don’t have to agree with this but we do have to understand it. But then, as the Royal British Legion says, that choice is rather the point in the first place:

A spokesperson for The Royal British Legion said: “We take the view that remembrance honours the sacrifices and contributions our Armed Forces community have made in defence of freedom, and so how people choose to remember, or not to, must be a matter of personal choice.

“If remembrance became compulsory it would lose its meaning and significance.”

Quite so. Or, as we might put it, Charlene White is exercising the freedom those fought and died for by deciding for herself whether to wear the poppy or not, when and where. That’s actually the damn point.

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The European Court of Human Rights has the final say on Amaral’s pay

McCann amaral

 

Madeleine McCann returns to the fore with news that Gonçalo Amaral, the “poisonous, grazing, shambles” ex-copper, has made money from her story. How much the Sun has made from ‘Our Maddie’ stories is not calculated, but the missing child is on the paper’s front-page once more so her face must shift copies. Amaral has apparently made £350,000 from his book, the Truth of the Lie, and a DVD. This, says the paper, is a “fortune” – the kind of money that buys a studio flat in a decent bit of London.

On page 7, we spot the McCanns, Kate and Gerry. The Sun says they’re challenging the Amaral decision at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They are taking on the Portuguese State not Amaral, as the Portuguese Resident website notes. The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral’s book but saw the decision reversed on appeal – a move supported by Portugal’s Supreme Court. Contesting that ruling at the ECHR is, says the Sun, the McCann’s “final effort to avoid paying £750,000 compensation to the man who cruelly claimed Maddie’s parents covered up her death” in May 2007. The McCanns deny any part in their daughter’s disappearance.

Can the ECHR come good for the Brits? Let’s see what the Sun has had to say about the court in the past:

A third of those who have won against Britain at the European Court of Human Rights are terrorists, prisoners or criminals, figures show.Among claimants the court found in favour of since 1975 are murderers, terrorists in Iraq and IRA gunmen. It [the figures] is a response to criticisms of the Strasbourg court by Tory ministers and The Sun… Commons Justice Committee chairman Bob Neill MP said: “This is well beyond what any sensible person would say is real human rights. It’s mission creep, law made by judges who are not judges and many from countries with questionable human rights and very little judicial experience.” – “European Court of Killers’ Rights”, the Sun 2016.

 

 

Via ‘The Sun gets regulator reprimand and publishes correction for misleading on European human rights’ – read more about the story and the apology from Adam Wagner

 

Jon Henley wrote in 2013: “Why is the European court of human rights hated by the UK right?”:

Grayling said last week the ECHR did not “make this country a better place”. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified “small claims court” buried under a mountain of “trivial” claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to “keep our country safe”.

An unnamed source tells the Sun: “Kate and Gerry have full confidence the European Court of Human Rights will find in their favour. It hasn’t altered their determination to carry on searching for their daughter.” Best of luck. The Sun seems to doubt the court’s trustworthiness. The paper says it could be an 8-year wait for the case to be heard. The Express says the cost could be “astronomical”.

An ECHR spokesperson is quoted in the Sun: “The case McCann and Healy v Portugal is still under consideration and there is no fixed time for examining it. There is no date fixed date for any judgement or decision to be delivered.” And so it goes…

  • If you have evidence about the search for the missing child contact the police. Or you could call Amaral – the Sun says he might be planning a sequel. Meanwhile… a child is missing.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Super Mario Segale is dead – long live Super Mario

Mario Segale in 1952

‘Super’ Mario Segale in 1952

 

There aren’t that many of us who don’t know who Mario is. You know, the plumber in the video games for those whose memories are fading? Yes, that’s the one, on the Nintendo. The thing is, he’s now dead.

Well, no, not the character, but the character the electronic one is named after. Hey, we’ll all take whatever immortality and fame is on offer, right?

So, the background is that Nintendo was trying to break into the US market and they had an office in Seattle. Their character already existed but he was called “Jumpman.” Obviously, if they were renting an office then they were renting it from someone, and when they needed a better name for the character then why not the name of the guy they were renting from, the one who always gave them such a hard time about being late with the rent?

The story goes that in the early 1980s, Nintendo was setting up their U.S. headquarters just outside of Seattle. The owner of the office they rented was Mario Segale, whose name they used as the main character for their signature series. He made quite the impression on them when he came in demanding overdue rent payment, and the rest is history.

Up to that point, Nintendo’s character had been known as “Jumpman,” so we have to say “Mario” was quite the improvement.

Well, quite so, why the hell not?

As told by his family in the obituary, Segale was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers. He started his own construction business soon after graduating from high school in 1952, and later began focusing on real estate and property development, establishing the Segale Business Park in the 1970s.

It was then that Segale leased warehouse space to the still young U.S. wing of Nintendo. He reportedly made such an impression on the video game company that the company decided to use his name for its hero, NPR reported.

Quite the joy of this is that Mario Segale did indeed do construction and did pretty much everything in construction, from digging through to owning the business park at times. Except, except, the one thing he never did do was plumbing…

 

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


The war for an independent Barcelona (1976)

grises barcelona

 

February 1 1976: three months after the death of dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco (4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975), the Assembly of Catalonia (Asemblea de Catalunya) marched in Barcelona under the banner ‘Libertat, Amnesty, Estatut d’Autonomia’ (Freedom, Amnesty, Autonomy).

 

Barcelona indepedence

 

Local residents’ associations, Trade Unions, political parties (many illegal), along with members of cultural and artistic entities participated. Initially it was peaceful. There was a sit-in on the Passeig de Sant Joan, at the corner of Carrer de Provença. But the Civil Guard and riot police police-threw smoke bombs at the seated protesters and charged them. Later, numerous groups marched through the streets of the Eixample to reach the Modelo prison, where they sought the release of political prisoners.

The Civil Guard waited. They were armed with rifles. Manel Armengol had a camera.

 

PG. DE SANT JOAN/PROVENÇA; CAMI DE LA PRESO MODEL, A LA MODEL C.ENTENÇA

 

See many more on flashbak.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


CCTV saves bouncer: Kierah Lagrave did not strike a blow for feminism

kierah-lagrave

A (la)grave error

 

Who says chivalry is dead? Surely not 22-year-old Kierah Lagrave, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., who is accused of choking a nightclub bouncer into unconsciousness. Lagrave thought he’d slapped her backside. He hadn’t. Her friend had – the friend who when the attack was taking place appeared to do nothing to stop it.

The odd bit is in the reporting by NBC News: “Newly released video shows a 5-foot-1 New York woman choking a much taller nightclub bouncer unconscious…” That makes it sound like Lagrave is some kind of hero. She isn’t. The bouncer says he didn’t defend himself because at the Five1Eight Nightclub because he “thought it was a friend playing a joke on him”.

Others also present the story as a blow for womenkind: “Woman Knocks Out Bouncer After She Thought He Groped Her,” says iHeart.com. How about “Woman Accused of Attacking Innocent Man”? The Independent makes her a “5-ft woman”, reducing her height for extra power. The bounce’s height is not given.

Lagrave has been arrested and charged with strangling. The bouncer can be thankful for CCTV. As the NY Post notes:

LaGrave, of Plattsburgh, later admitted to police that she choked the bouncer, telling investigators she did so because he had grabbed her. Surveillance footage, however, proved otherwise.

 

Posted: 4th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


David Cameron and Hilary Clinton reprise The Aristocrats – a joke in many parts

Memoirs written, shed built, David Cameron is now so “bored shitless” there’s nothing left to do but to return to his old job. The Sun quotes a mate of Dave’s telling us that the former prime minister who quit when his campaign for Britain to remain in the EU failed thinks the role of foreign secretary will fill his days. Good job Dave has private means because one former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, told friends his minister’s salary of £141,405 a year was not enough to live on. He now muddles along on less, having selflessly resigned his post. If Johnson does become leader let’s hope his fellow toff Cameron isn’t insulted by the derisory sums on offer.

Over the water, another upper-class politico, Hillary Clinton, was asked about her return to the fore. “Well, I’d like to be president,” she told the Recode podcast. Many would. But why you, Hillary? “I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there’s going to be so much work to be done… The work would be work that I feel very well prepared for, having been at the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department, and it’s just going to be a lot of heavy lifting.” With the CV filed, Tom Slater reminds us, “She is still, believe it or not, less popular than Donald Trump“. If she stands, they’ll be no Democrat in the Oval office in 2021.

Another Clinton. Cameron redux. They never leave. Incidentally, Tom’s post is entitled ‘The New Aristocrats”, which made me think of this. It’s NSFW.

 

Posted: 4th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Predictive Policing perpetuates racism and makes us all suspects

Predpol is, according to it website, “the market leader in predictive policing”. Predpol collects data and uses it to show police where future offences will take place. Crime is contagious, the thinking goes – the same offenders target the same people in the same area. Pump in the bald facts for ostensibly objective analysis and an efficient police service. “PredPol is currently being used to help protect one out of every 33 people in the United States,” says the company. Really? The facts are unclear. But predictive policing is here in the UK.

Predictive police has many fans. Jeff Brantingham, an anthropology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who helped to develop the Predpol algorithm, says: “If you are victimized today the risk that you’ll be a victim again goes way up.” Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a law teacher at the University of the District of Columbia, warns that “under current Fourth Amendment doctrine predictive policing will have a significant effect on reasonable suspicion analysis”. Lindsey Barrett agrees: “These algorithms have the potential to increase accuracy and efficiency, but they also threaten to dilute the reasonable suspicion standard and increase unintentional discrimination in a way that existing law is ill-equipped to prevent.” It’s not the coppers who are racist; it’s the robot.

If past data is the barometer of future crime, how trusty is that data? For instance, if police spend more time in, say, black neighbourhoods nicking people for weed possession will they just repeat past patterns and mistakes? Can Predpol tell us where most white collar crime takes place and prevent it?

…civil liberties groups and racial justice organizations are wary. They argue that predictive policing perpetuates racial prejudice in a dangerous new way, by shrouding it in the legitimacy accorded by science. Crime prediction models rely on flawed statistics that reflect the inherent bias in the criminal justice system, they contend—the same type of bias that makes black men more likely to get shot dead by the police than white men. Privacy is another key concern. In Chicago, Illinois, one scientist has helped the police department generate a list of individuals deemed likely to perpetrate or be victims of violent crime in the near future; those people are then told they’re considered at risk, even if they have done nothing wrong.

Corey Doctorow took a look:

An anonymous security researcher recently contacted me with what may be a list of Predpol’s customers. This researcher had seen that Predpol assigns easy-to-guess subdomains to each Predpol customer, in the form of CITYNAME.predpol.com, for example, baltimore.predpol.com.

This researcher wrote a script that combined the name of every US city and town with “.predpol.com” and checked to see whether this domain existed. The full list of cities that had Predpol domains is both short and confusing:

longbeach.predpol.com
indianapolis.predpol.com
hollywood.predpol.com
albany.predpol.com
southjordan.predpol.com
berkeley.predpol.com
frederick.predpol.com
baltimore.predpol.com
pleasanton.predpol.com
modesto.predpol.com
tacoma.predpol.com
elmonte.predpol.com
elgin.predpol.com
livermore.predpol.com
reading.predpol.com
merced.predpol.com
haverhill.predpol.com

Predpol itself was tight-lipped in the extreme: they initially ignored all press requests, then sent a terse “neither confirm nor deny” response to my questions about this list. They wouldn’t even confirm whether the login forms at these domains were secure, despite repeated warnings from me that I would be making them public, requesting that they ensure that these forms require strong logins and passwords to avoid exposing sensitive policing data.

Robocop’s watching you. What can go wrong?

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the new Wilfried Zaha

When Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha claimed he’d been racially abused, the i paper illustrated the story with a photo of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Maybe the abuse was a case of mistaken identities?

 

 

 

Posted: 1st, November 2018 | In: News | Comment


After Pittsburgh the righteous and fair blame the Jews

After the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, hollow minds scout around for someone to blame. You can blame the web, rabid anti-Semitism now rife in British politics – we’re told never to forget, but it never went away – the prime suspect’s hatred of Jews, Israel (how the righteous and not-in-the-least-bit racist love to apportion collective blame on all Jews for events in a foreign country) and the Chief Rabbi. So here are Jenny Tongue, a member of the House of Lords, and Katie Hopkins, a member of the twitter doghouse, doing there bit for peace and harmony:

 

 

 

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment