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News | Anorak - Part 4

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Sarah Silverman fired for making jokes in blackface in 2007

sarah_silverman_hosting_the_oscars

Who need context in the age of offence taking? American comic Sarah Silverman told listeners to The Bill Simmons Podcast about how the knowing came for her. She once posed in blackface on The Sarah Silverman Show. She might be a victim of “offence archaeology”: digging into someone past in the hope of finding evidence of wrong thinking. It matters not a jot what happened in the intervening years. The offence is an indelible stain.

“I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part, then, at 11pm the night before, they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode… I think it’s really scary and it’s a very odd thing that its invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it…

“It’s like, if you’re not on board, if you say the wrong thing, if you had a tweet once, everyone is, like, throwing the first stone. It’s so odd. It’s a perversion. It’s really, ‘Look how righteous I am and now I’m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness.'”

Context be damned:

“It was like, I’m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. I’m clearly liberal. That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism. I don’t get joy in that any more. It makes me feel yucky. All I can say is that I’m not that person any more… There’s a still of me on Twitter in blackface and it’s totally out of context and I tweeted it when Twitter was new and the people who followed me watched that show and it was from that show,” she said. “Now it’s forever there and it looks … it’s totally racist out of context and I regret that.”

Everyone, stay in your lane or else.

Posted: 13th, August 2019 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


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

epstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gothamist:

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

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

What price justice?

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


CCTV nation: spying on kids are they gain independence is unspeakably sad

spying camp facial recognition

Screw solitude and giving loved ones space. Parents who like to video tape their child’s every move can now monitor and keep records of their lives when they’re away at summer camp. The routine is pretty simple. You upload a photo of your child’s face to the Bunk1 app, which uses facial recognition software. Whenever the camp commandants take a picture of the kinder at player and upload it to the service, parents get an alert asking “Is this your camper?” It might well be the most god-awful thing ever. But to the Washington Post, it’s mostly brilliant.

Read and weep:

When David Hiller’s two daughters checked into Camp Echo, a bucolic sleep-away camp in Upstate New York, they relinquished their cellphones for seven idyllic weeks away from their digital lives.

But not Hiller: His phone rings 10 times a day with notifications from the summer camp’s facial-recognition service, which alerts him whenever one of his girls is photographed enjoying their newfound independence, going water-skiing or making a new friend.

His daughters don’t really know about the facial-recognition part, he said. But for him and his wife, it’s quickly become a cherished summer pastime, alerting them instantly when the camp uploads its for-parents haul of more than 1,000 photos a day — many of which they end up looking through, just in case.

Points to consider:

  1. Why not just let the nippers have their phones? Why is not having your phones “idyllic”? Mum and dad seem to be on theirs all the bloody time. And they love it.
  2. Why is letting strangers take photos of children all day a good thing?
  3. What “newfound independence”? Everything they do is being recorded, observed and judged. A child in the frame is about as independent as a lab mouse in a cage.
  4. Why don’t the children know what’s going on in their own lives?
  5. Other parents of kids who look like yours get to watch them too?
  6. A huge database stores the images and names of all the kinder. What could possibly go wrong?
  7. It all looks like a desperate attempt by parents to make a connection with their children. Give them space. Protect their fullest freedom and development by protecting their right to be alone.

Zu kampers vant more?

“It’s all about building this one-way window into the camper’s experience: The parent gets to see in, but the camper’s not distracted from what’s going on,” said Bunk1 president Rob Burns, a former camp counselor himself. “These are parents who are involved in everything their kid does, and that doesn’t go away when the kid is at camp.”

We have only glimpsed the hell to come…

Posted: 12th, August 2019 | In: News, Technology | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Ghislaine Maxwell, sex and money

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

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

Shot By Both Sides, Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

The Guardian reported:

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

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

Epstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


We all know who killed Jeffrey Epstein

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

Jeffrey Epstein Russians

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

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

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

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

Jeffrey Epstein Cosmopolitan mag's Bachelor of the Month
1980

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

Who dunnit? Only you can decide…

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


Jeffrey Epstein : Clinton, Prince Andrew and the smoking gun

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

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

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

epstein prince andrew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton exhale : Jeffrey Epstein is dead

jeffrey epstein passport

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

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

Conspiracy theorists – away you go.

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


Dmitriy Andreychenko is the vainest man in America

Dmitriy Andreychenko is a vain idiot. Days after mass murder in the streets of Dayton and a Walmart in El Paso, Andreychenko walked into a branch of Walmart in Missouri wearing full body armour and carrying a loaded handgun and rifle. For added oomph, he was filming himself. “I wanted to know if that Walmart honoured the second amendment,” the 20-year-old told police after he was arrested. His caper came to an end when he was spotted by an off-duty firefighter and challenged at the point of a gun (also loaded). Walmat security were reportedly uninvolved.

Andreychenko is accused of making a terrorist threat. If found guilty, the charge could result in a four-year prison sentence and a fine of $10,000 (£8,300).

“This is Missouri, I understand if we were somewhere else like New York or California, people would freak out,” he told police.

Andreychenko wasn’t checking any rights. He was making a demand to have everyone adhere to his pathetic interpretation of the law.

Springfield, Missouri, Police Department spokesman Lt. Mike Lucas tells us: “He walked in here, heavily armed with body armor on, in military fatigues, and caused a great amount of panic inside the store… Obviously, what’s happened in Texas and Dayton and all that kind of stuff in the last seven days – that’s on everybody’s mind.” Andreychenko is “lucky he’s still alive”.

And why Walmart?

Carroll County Sheriff Jim Dewees wasn’t worried about being PC when asked about Wal-Mart store security after a gun man robbed one in the suburban area of his mostly rural jurisdiction:

“Find me a Walmart that isn’t a burden on law enforcement resources and I will kiss your a–,” he said, according to The Carroll County Times. “Their corporate policies are pitiful when it comes to securing their stores and protecting their employees and the customers that are there.”

Dmitriy Andreychenko is the idiots’ idiot.

Posted: 10th, August 2019 | In: News | Comment


Arsenal pair forced out by security fears

Can we speculate about the “further security incidents” keeping Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac out of Arsenal’s squad for tomorrow’s Premier League game at Newcastle United? There have been “credible threats” to their safety.

Two weeks ago the players were attacked by a knife-wielding gang in Golders Green, north London. Talk was of an attempted carjacking. Ozil has a swanky motor (black Mercedes G-Class 4×4), but would the villains bother retuning for another go at it?

Arsenal are “providing the players and their families with ongoing support. The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority. We have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives. We look forward to welcoming the players back to the squad as soon as possible.”

And so the speculation. Is it to do with “Ozil’s recent high profile endorsement of Turkey’s Erdogan and his rejection of his adopted country, Germany?” asks one fan. Or is it because the police can’t nick scooter gangs?

Posted: 10th, August 2019 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Fairground workers say Norwich Cathedral ride is rigged

‘Down and down and down you go, where it stops, hell knows’

The country’s fairground workers might wonder how fair it is that Norwich Cathedral has installed a full-size helter skelter ride in the nave. The cathedral says the ride is “a creative way to share the story of the Bible”, particularly Proverbs 32 – 7-9: ‘£2 per person per ride. One rider per mat. No refunds.’

Says one fairground worker: ‘At least you know our games are rigged. With this mob you only find out if they’re above board when you’re dead. i wish we’d have thought of it first.’

In other news: the central aisle of Rochester Cathedral has also been converted into a crazy golf course.

Posted: 9th, August 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Multi-millionaire Jeremy Corbyn attacks Boris Johnson’s ‘Millionaire Friends’

Jeremy Corbyn never made it to the big Google climate shindig. As a man with an estimated net worth of £3million, chances are he wasn’t rich enough to afford a private jet and thus matter. As the right sort of stinking rich attempt to buy their way into Heaven by offsetting carbon and preaching from an exclusive, sun-kissed holiday spot, Corbyn was busy bashing the wrong sort of stinking rich. The first version of a recent video lambasted Boris Johnson’s millionaire friends. But Jez came across as a bit self-hating. So he changed it to Boris’s ‘billionaire’ friends.

And he got that wrong, too.

A 2016 investigation by Greenpeace revealed that some of the biggest recipients of EU grants that year included Queen Elizabeth (£557,707) and the UK’s youngest billionaire, the Duke of Westminster (£437,434). Other aristocrats earning hundreds of thousands of pounds from the EU – just because they own farmland – included the Earl of Moray and the Earl of Plymouth. Billionaire Brexiteer Sir James Dyson was also among the top 100 recipients of EU farm money.

Where there’s muck, there’s gold.

PS: Corbyn’s billionaire mates are the good sort.

Hugo Chavez money


According to a Forbes article in 2015, Chavez was worth an “estimated $2 billion at the time of his death [in 2013]. It is not known how many trees he planted.

Posted: 9th, August 2019 | In: Money, News, Politicians | Comment


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

Maya Angelu
‘A private chopper is a human right’

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

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

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou – 1928-2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pass the Duchy: Luxembourg wants to legalise marijuana and let 12-year-olds smoke it

Things to do in Luxembourg No. 2: get stoned. The Grand Duchy wants to be the first nation in the European Union to legalise weed. The country’s Health Minister, Etienne Schneider, wants to regulate the cannabis market. “This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work,” says Schneider. “Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people.” But now it’s interesting to old people who want to cash in on the high.

Schneider and Justice Minister Félix Braz plan a “highly regulated structure”, including “prohibition on purchases by non-residents, as a way to avoid drug tourism”. In neighbouring Belgium it’s ok to possess up to 3g or cultivate of one plant. In neighbouring Germany prosecution is optional for possession of “small amounts”. Why would you bother heading to Luxembourg for a holiday, let alone a spliff? It’s full of accountants surfing tax loopholes.

Anyhow, the drug would be available legally to over 18s but minors aged between 12 and 17, says the Guardian, would not be criminalised for possessing five grams or less. School trips to Luxembourg might catch on…

Posted: 7th, August 2019 | In: News | Comment


UK Government profits from Canadian cannabis smokers

cannabis uk

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

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

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

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


Don’t name the killers: 30 dead in Dayton and El Paso

Do we want to know the names of the killers in Dayton and El Paso? Want to know the name of the racist mass murderer who struck at a Texas branch of of Walmart? Want to read his manifesto? Want to focus on identity, fear, victimhood and division? Better to consider the victims. Jordan and Andre Anchondo had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary when he killer murdered them as they mooched about the shops in El Paso, Texas. Elsa Mendoza de la Mora was a special needs teacher who lived across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Derrick Fudge was 57 and on a night out in Ohio.


“On the issue of guns, I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment and a critic of the “do something” mentality. It’s not fair or right to curtail the rights of law-abiding citizens because of the actions of a tiny fraction of the population. And yes, it’s a tiny fraction. Paradoxically, US crime and murders remain at or near multi-decade lows, even as the number of guns owned in America has exploded. That said, even within that more optimistic context, deadly mass shootings are on the rise.”

Mass shootings shouldn’t be lumped in with regular crime, which generally features some sort of relatable motive — greed, jealousy, anger, turf wars — directed at someone or something specific. But they aren’t quite terrorism, either, which by definition includes a political agenda.

I suppose the confusion helps push the anti-gun agenda, so I wouldn’t except it to end.

Name the killers?

Posted: 5th, August 2019 | In: News | Comment


Cannabis laws cut criminals’ profits and keep therapists busy

weed legal UK
Idea 1: ‘Legalise weed’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Your Highness: Harry and Meghan’s 2 Royal Babies will be gender neutral

Should you meet Baby Archie, ‘Your Highness’ will suffice as a universal greeting. In the pursuit of equality, something dear to the Duke and Duchess (and very probably also their platoons of hand-picked staff at any one of their properties) an insider told us via Vanity Fair, their progeny will be gender neutral. “Meghan has been talking to some of her friends about the birth and how she and Harry plan to raise their baby,” said the source. “Her exact word was ‘fluid’. She said they plan to raise their child with a fluid approach to gender and they won’t be imposing any stereotypes.” Thus the Duke and Duchess spake.

The couple will also be having no more than two children. Why? Can you guess? It is because:

  1. She’s 37
  2. The LA factory that pumps out celebrity twins (always one girl and boy) is fully booked
  3. They are intensely private people
  4. If Archie plays the princess and ‘Betty’ is the prince, Baby 3 (‘Jughead’) may become confused
  5. A Leah Jet seats 4
  6. You equate big wealth with high morals and say two is best for Gaia
  7. Royal third children include Prince Andrew and… Well, isn’t that enough of a warning?

Answer: if they spout enough bollocks, we’ll be distracted from wandering out loud how people with such vast wealth built on inequality can present us with the huge bill for alterations to one of their homes and not trigger a revolution.

Posted: 3rd, August 2019 | In: News, Royal Family | Comment


Marijuana for PTSD : US coast guard bans use

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Karl Schultz forbids banning all staff from “knowingly visiting, entering, remaining in, or patronizing” marijuana dispensaries”. You can smoke marijuana legally for both medical and recreational use in many US states. But the possession of marijuana and the psychoactive compound THC are banned by federal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“As part of the federal law enforcement community, I expect Coast Guard personnel to maintain a lifestyle that neither condones the use of illegal substances nor exposes them to accidental intake of illegal drugs,” Schultz wrote. “Illegal drug use and involvement with activities, events, or entities that promote illegal drugs are contrary to our Service’s core values.”

You can’t get the drug if you’re in uniform but what about people living with the consequences of careers in the military? This Tuesday, people living in the state of Louisiana will have access to marijuana medicine.

Pharmacists at Capitol Wellness Solutions, the capital region’s only licensed marijuana pharmacy, have already selected the first patients to receive medicine. Because of its proximity to the state’s grower, Capitol’s patients will be the first in the state to receive an approved dose of marijuana. Gary Hess, a Marine, is slated to become the first veteran in Louisiana to get a legal dose of the drug. ..

“Depression, anxiety, insomnia,” Hess said, listing some of the symptoms that stem from his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “Someone who’s very secluded, isolated, and unsocial.”

“I didn’t know this side of him existed,” Hardy said of her partner’s behavior after using the medication. “[He’s] always been a wonderful, good person, but the stability… the consistency.”

So why can’t active personnel use medical marijuana?

Posted: 3rd, August 2019 | In: News | Comment


Canada’s weed amnesty

weed canada

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

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

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

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

Apply here.

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


CBD : the fight to regulate the new snake oil

marijuana art

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Apollo 11: they injected mice with moon dust

moon dust mice clangers

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

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

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

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

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

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


London Tube hero defeats moronic Chelsea fan – video

Who is the hero who helped the moronic Chelsea fan leave the Tube train? And what is it with Chelsea fans and behaving badly on trains?

Chelsea moron Tube

Posted: 29th, July 2019 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


The only two words you’re allowed to says to Harry and Meghan

meghan markle harry laws rules

Should the Duke and Duchess of Sussex burst info flames, their neighbours must wait until asked to cross the road and wazz on them. Harry and Meghan’s neighbours have been issued with a set of rules, says the Sun. Do not speak to them without being spoken to first. Do not post flyers for pizzas, Labour or a new waxing salon through their letter box. Do not touch their dogs, walk the dogs nor ask to see Baby Archie. Only say ‘Good morning’, and only then if he actress and Duke Baseball Cap speak first.

Harry: ‘Out of my way, pleb!’

Neighbour: ‘Good morning’

Meghan: ‘It’s 3am and if I want a party I’ll have one’

Neighbour: ‘Good morning’

The rest of us love it all, of course. The royals are preposterous, ridiculous and laughable. That they need to provide the masses with made-up rules to maintain their distance and gravitas shows how close they are to admitting that the game is up.

Posted: 28th, July 2019 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Lord Bramall : victim of Carl Beech and the Met Police PR drive

Nick sunday People
Sunday People – Nick

Field Marshal Lord Bramall, 95, was maliciously accused of being part of a gang – sorry, ring – who tortured and murdered young boys for sexual kicks. His accuser, one Carl Beech, is guilty of perverting the course of justice, fraud and child-sex offences. Last Friday he was given an 18-year sentence. The police saw in Beech the opportunity to restore some of the damage to their reputation caused by their failure to fully investigate complaints against BBC DJ Sir Jimmy Savile. Biased media used Nick to score political points. Politicians behaved shamefully. Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, pitched himself as a hero. The Guardian said of him: “the deceptively shambolic maverick with an ex-wife for a private life, who looks like Robbie Coltrane but turns out to be a crime-fighting genius. And funnily enough, that’s not too far wide of the mark.” Watson PI could see a puppy sat by pile of shit and conclude the Tories done it. He’s no genius.

Dominic Lawson writes in the Sunday Times:

Bramall now says that, after the investigation had been concluded, the then Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, “sitting where you are, Dominic, in that chair, said to me: ‘We knew almost at once that none of these ridiculous allegations applied to you, but we could not stop making you a suspect for another 10 months, because we in the Metropolitan police would have been accused of not investigating properly.’”

So it was about their own reputation?

“Exactly. Their own public relations.”

Eventually the Met agreed to pay Bramall £100,000 in recognition of their investigative errors and the harm that was done to him: “I was told that was about half what my lawyer thought was the going rate. But the Metropolitan police kept coming back, saying: ‘You were once lord lieutenant of London and [must know] we can’t offer more because all this comes out of the money that we need to police crime in London.’”

Operation Midland, the police enquiry into Beech’s lies – lies treated as “credible and true” by the police – cost £2.5m.

Posted: 28th, July 2019 | In: News | Comment


Chuckle Brothers Clickbait : trolling a man’s death for clicks

Chuckle Brothers dead

Chuckle Brothers’ entertainer Paul Elliott has been “forced to deny that he passed away after his late brother Jimmy died this week”. So reports The Metro. How ugly. A grieving man is forced into something. “Following the death of his older brother Jimmy, 87, the 71-year-old was quick to stamp out rumours that he was the one who had died.”

‘The world is falling apart, Paul Chuckle has now died a year after his brother,’ one distressed fan wrote. To which he also responded: ‘Nobody told me,’ with a whiskey glass. While another wrote: ‘Click-bait. He wasn’t a “Chuckle brother”. Paul didn’t die.’ To which Paul added: ‘I don’t intend to mate,’ with the fist and thumbs up emoji.

Where on earth did readers and Chuckle Brothers’ fans get the idea that one of the comedy duo had died?

Dead Chuckle Brother
Clickbait
chuckle brothers death clickbait
Clickbait : The Metro’s Top 10 stories

Clickbaiting a man’s death and then writing a second story about a grieving man “forced” to set the record straight. Charming…

Posted: 27th, July 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment