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News | Anorak - Part 8

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Owen Jones v The Sun is the joke that keeps on giving

Guardian journalist and Jeremy Corbyn fan Owen Jones is so upset that he allowed the Sun to feature an extract from his book that he’s donated £500 to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. The Sun lied when 96 innocent people were killed at a football match in 1989. You can read more about it here. A mere 23 years after the lies, the Sun apologised.

Jones won’t forgive the paper. “I’ve made the argument that the British media is directly responsible for legitimising and fuelling the rise of the far right. The hatred directed, on a daily basis, against Muslims, migrants, refugees, LGBTQ people, and other minorities, has had already horrifying real world consequences: worse is to come,” he writes in a story headlined: “Why writing for The Sun is bad (and my own making amends).”

But not all British media is to blame. The Guardian, for instance, which admitted that a cartoon”inevitably” echoed “past antisemitic usage of such imagery” is fine. As Julie Burchill put it as she left the Guardian for the Times, which like the Sun is owned by Rupert Murdoch, she’d “finally been convinced that my evil populist philistinism has no place in a publication read by so many all-round, top-drawer plaster saints”. That’s the Guardian, in which one columnist opined: “I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.” Jones has also written for the New Statesman, the organ that produced this fair and reasoned cover:

anti-Semitic new statesman kosher conspiracy
The Labour Party supporting New Statesman had a question that might have been rhetorical.

Jones adds: “It is the proprietors and editors who bear the greatest responsibility for this media campaign of hatred. But the journalists who write such stories have to be held to account, too. The idea that building their own careers is more important than not helping to whip up bigotry and hatred against already vulnerable minorities is perverse. They may think it’s a price worth paying to “make it”, but the price is not paid by them — it’s paid by other people in the streets, in school yards, in workplaces and in communities.” Sun writers should look to themselves and consider their positions.

Jones says that his refusal to accept a fee from the Sun doesn’t make it right. He was “naive”. “Giving them any copy whatsoever just legitimises the paper.”

As Jones is invited to hand back any earnings from the Guardian and the New Statesman – if he keeps up his rate of a £500 donation per article, he might earn an OBE for charity work – Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman muses on twitter:

The “established MP” who earned money from the Iranian government-funded satellite channel Press TV, is Jeremy Corbyn. One writer says “Press TV is not just a home for those with exterminationist fantasies about wiping Israel off the map, but a platform for the full fascist conspiracy theory of supernatural Jewish power.” Iran backs Corbyn’s “friends” in Hamas, the group whose stated aim is to kill every Jew. Jones wants us to make Corbyn the country’s Prime Minister. Maybe Corbyn didn’t notice the racism. He might also have missed the fact that Iran hangs gay people, stones women to death and wants to annihilate the world’s only Jewish state.

But it’s the Sun that shames Jones. For pity!

Posted: 15th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Transfer Balls: Arsenal star’s not so ‘secret medical’

ramsey arsenal

More on Arsenal’s midfielder Aaron Ramsey’s protracted transfer to Juventus.

Having signed a deal to join Juventus on a free transfer this summer, unsigned a deal and left the door open for a move to France or Spain, it’s been a busy time for the Welshman in the on-the-ball media. And the Mirror now says Juventus want to pay a fee to recruit Ramsey this month. Arsenal are apparently seeking £20m for their player, which Juventus consider a tad high. They should worry – in the Sun the figure is £40m, a sum echoed byre, the Mirror, which also this month notes: “Arsenal will not sell Aaron Ramsey this month – unless they are offered £ 40million.”

The Mirror also notes: “The 28-year-old reportedly even had a secret medical with Juve on Sunday.” Can it be a secret if it was widely reported before and after it reportedly happened? The Mirror seems to think it can.

As for the deal, well:

“€4.5million-a-year, four-year contract” – Mirror

“Aaron Ramsey scoops £8m signing-on fee” – The Sun

“Aaron Ramsey has agreed a five-year deal with Juventus worth £36m” – Guardian

“…fouryear contract with Juventus until 2023 with an option for another year. Earning £7.2million per year” – Express

Such are the facts.

Posted: 15th, January 2019 | In: News | Comment


Supermac beats Big Mac in stodge wars

Supermac McDonald's

In Ireland you can eat at one of Pat McDonagh’s Supermac fast-food eateries. McDonagh earned the nickname Supermac for his showing in a Gaelic football match in the late 1960s between his school Carmelite college of Moate, County Westmeath, and St Gerald’s.

A Supermac burger is not to be confused with a McDonald’s burger. The US fast-food giant sought to block the Supermac brand over intellectual property right matters. McDonald’s argued that Supermac would create confusion on the high street, causing punters looking for a cheap meaty sandwich to mistakenly buy a, er, cheap meaty sandwich.

Mega Mac
Huge Mac

Supermac won the day. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) cancelled McDonald’s use of the “Big Mac” trademark. Supermac is now free to sell its grub throughout the EU. “We said there’d be no confusion. Big Mac and Supermac are two different things,” said McDonagh, 65. Indeed they are: one is Big and one is Super. The race for the burger with the biggest superlative is on.

Posted: 15th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Publicly shaming the McDonald’s Brixton ranter

To the McDonald’s in Brixton, south London, where Alex Parvenu is filming a middle-aged man barking on about migrants and feminists.

He moans about “bloody immigrants” and – now to camera – “mangina feminists”. Parvenu wants to know who he is. Why? Well, in his tweeted video he tagged MPs, Lambeth Council and police. The assumption is that Parvenue wants the berk nicked in some official capacity. But surely his public shaming is enough?

By now others had noticed the ranter. Keen for a spot of the online action, someone filmed him again. This time the bellend’s in the street:

Lest you consider the ravings of a dickhead of negligible interest to the world at large, an incident that could be dealt with by on-the-spot ridicule, the Independent transcribes the man’s words. “The London McDonald’s racist somehow managed to get even more racist,” says the website’s headline. Well, yes. If you egg on an odious cretin shouting at the pigeons in the precinct, chances are that he’ll shout some more. But isn’t the better thing to call him a “****”. Why film it? We know what the man says about things and himself – none of it’s good. And maybe he’s mentally unwell, a little tired and emotional?

But there’s something else going on: what does filming it and demanding action say about us? Was anyone afraid by this man and this ravings? Do we no longer possess the agency to combat ugly words ourselves, preferring to cede retribution and justice to others? It’s all very now and all very odd.

Posted: 15th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Bros find success in failure – 1980s band enjoy fame after documentary ridicule

 Bros: After The Screaming Stops

The answer to the stuttering refrain “When will I, will I be famous?” was simple: when you’re shaggable, have pop star hair and write a catchy tune the promoters love. Now Bros, who asked the question in 1987, have triggered a new answer to it: when nostalgia bites and you become the nation’s pet thickos. And so it is that after a documentary brought them to back to the fore, Surrey-born Matt and Luke Goss – the other part of the original Bros band, Craig Logan, is busy – have announced they will be performing a comeback show in London.

For those of you missed the Decembeer 2017 BBC documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops, here are a few choice cuts:

Bros quotes funny
Bros documentary quotes funny
Bros documentary quotes funny

The lovely irony is that the documentary followed twins Matt and Luke as they reunited ahead of their ill-fated 2017 tour. Showing us failure has resulted in success.

And you too can be famous – just as soon as “you’ve read Karl Marx
/ And you’ve taught yourself to dance.”

Posted: 14th, January 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Brexit: Boris Johnson makes lusty return to the 30s

Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans are on hold. The Mail leads with news that “Boris’s blonde” is at the couple’s new “love nest”. ‘Boris’s blonde what?’, you may well ask? His mullet? His merkin? His visions for Europe? No. The blonde is the Tory MP’s “first Lady” Carrie Symonds.

Boris Johnson blonde daily mail

Inside and the paper’s headline is full of facts and guff: “Boris’s ‘First Lady’: As Johnson’s blonde, 30, steps out of £1m flat they share, we reveal how she’s already nicknamed ‘FLOTUS’ – like president’s wife – and also shares passion for raw ambition with ‘puppy dog’ Boris, 54.” He’s ‘Boris’ no fewer than twice; she is “Johnson’s blonde” – not even a blonde in her own right, rather the property of the Tory manqué.

Boris Johnson symonds

Like the Mail, the Express also leads with Boris and whatsherface. The papers talk of her pinching his arse; much canoodling; some smooching; and a cosy new pad.

And finally, it would seem, readers would do well heed the Johnson’s advice: stay in bed until Brexit is done. Oh, and there are the ages, of course, of which no report on the love birds is complete. He’s 54; she’s 30. Yeah, that’s right, Remainers. The Brexiteer really has gone back to the 30s and she’s getting aroused by the 50s.

You’ve never had it so good (nor so often – phwoarr!).

Posted: 14th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Teen Vogue beats CIA and other perverts: stick a plaster over your webcam

How can you prevent spooks and pervs from spying on you? Nicole Kobie has a tip for reader to Teen Vogue: stick a plaster over your Webcam.

However, there are others who could be watching through your webcam, and the stories of compromised cameras are genuinely terrifying: hackers taunting people and spying on women at home, blackmailing teens into sharing nude photos, and schools even keeping watch on their students. “This is a pretty invasive, targeted form of malware, but the consequences can be super embarrassing,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Such attacks require your computer to be tunneled into by hackers, creating a backdoor called a Remote Access Tool (RAT) — sort of like if someone added an unlocked window to your house that you didn’t know was there. There are also cases that allege computer repair staff taking control of cameras when you get a device serviced.

Don’t panic; this type of attack remains rare, notes Wheeler. “One or two instances of RATs and teenagers being hacked for video through their webcams creates a lot of media clicks and hysteria, but the truth is that you should be much more concerned about your personal data than your webcam or your phone’s front-facing camera (which no one covers with a sticker).”

Nicole Kobie

Now take a look at that Alexa box sat in the corner of your room listening to everything, and the Facebook Page that when it remains open can see all other sites you link to and maybe listen to your phone calls. And wonder what it is about adults that makes them so keen to eavesdrop on you? What did they hear? What did you do?

“With the right tools, in other words, almost anyone—from foreign governments to the creepy teenager down the street—could be recording you while you sit at your computer. All of this raises the question: Why don’t we just cover our webcams whenever they aren’t in use?”

Slate

Felix Krause explains what happens when you allow an app access to your camera and microphone. The app could obtain:

  • Access both the front and the back camera.
  • Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
  • Take pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
  • Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
  • Livestream the camera on to the internet.
  • Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person.
  • Upload random frames of the video stream to your web service and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.

Criminals beware! This video shows how a film makers set up his phone and waited for it to be stolen. He then spied on the thief. But if you’re doing nothing wrong, then there’s nothing to worry about, right? Or maybe Big Government and Big Corp. are just gathering data for ads and marketing. However, should any rules change and you become a person of interest, they’ll be in touch. In the meanwhile, get a sticking plaster. It’s not a total solution – but it’s an easy fix.


Posted: 14th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn completes his EastEnders audition

Jeremy Corbyn shirty Marr

Jeremy Corbyn is on Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning politics show. If body language matters – and surely it does – the Labour leader’s habit of tilting his head and looking up does him few favours.

In 2008, actor Chris Coghill was hired to play Tony King on EastEnders. His character would become one of the most reviled in the history of British soap operas. How did he manage to look shifty and disingenuous. Coghill explained: “I’ve always been able to turn on the sinister look. Sid Owen said to me that all I had to do was tilt my head down and look up and it’s there.”

Jeremy Corbyn says vote for him and he’ll let you know what his Brexit plans are.

Posted: 13th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


The Rock v The Daily Star – actor says tabloid fabricated interview

The Rock daily star snowflakes

Did you see The Rock ruck into millennials for being “snowflakes” and “PC softies”? The Star made it front-page news. Well, The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) claims the paper made the whole thing up. “It’s not a real [The Rock] interview if I’m ever insulting a group, a generation, or anyone because that’s not me, that’s not who I am, and that’s not what we do,” says Dwayne.

Anyone now looking for the story on the paper’s website is met by an apology:

DAily Star the rock

What happened? Are there two Rocks – and is the Star caught between them?

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


Army gives Sergeant Glyn Gurner lost medals on his 100th birthday

Many happy returns Sergeant Glyn Gurner. Mr Gunner is 100 years old today. To mark the date, the British Army presented him with a gift: the medals he lost 70 years ago.

Mr Gurner – the British Army’s tweet refers to Mr Gurner by the more nominative deterministic title Mr Gunner – of New Tredegar, Caerphilly, joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1936 and served for 10 years. He served in Crete, North Africa, Italy and Palestine. He said: “This is unbelievable. I never expected anything like this. What a wonderful thing to do. I can’t believe I’ve got my medals back.”

Picture of Sergeant Glyn Gurner (Right) taken in 1940 – Photographer: Corporal Tom Evans (RLC) / MoD Crown

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


Mesut Ozil look alike Daniel Kaye jailed for DoS attack on African internet

Ozil DAniel Kaye
Ozil Kaye

Daniel Kaye, 29, admitted attacking Lonestar, an African phone company, in 2016 – accidentally crashing Liberia’s internet. The Briton was this week jailed for 32 months. Anorak can’t help but notice that Kaye looks a lot like Arsenal FC’s Mesut Ozil. Can the pair be related?

According to court papers, Kaye was hired in 2015 to attack Lonestar, Liberia’s leading mobile phone and internet company, by an individual working for Cellcom, its competitor.There is no suggestion that Cellcom knew what the employee was doing – but the individual offered Kaye up to $10,000 (£7,800) a month to use his skills to do as much as possible to destroy Lonestar’s service and reputation.

BBC

Kaye harnessed the power of the Internet of Things to carry out a DOS attack:


How Kaye did it is of no little interest. It’s all about the Internet of things.
The weapon, known as “Mirai #14” worked by secretly hijacking a vast number of Chinese-made Dahua webcams, which are used for security in homes and businesses around the world. He identified that the cheap cameras and other similar equipment had a security flaw – and he exploited that to take over the devices without owners knowing. That meant he could turn them into what amounted to a “zombie” cyber army to attack his target. In November 2016, working secretly out of Cyprus and controlling the botnet via his mobile phone, Kaye ordered it to overwhelm Lonestar’s systems.

On his command, hundreds of thousands of the webcams began firing data requests at the west African company. The system began to struggle to manage the demands and parts of the infrastructure crashed.

Mesut Ozil is injured and has never hacked anything – indeed, he rarely tackles anything harder than a sponge.

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


Police seek man who stole blue siren from police car

Amanda Nunn, a journalist at ITN, alerts us to the police hunt. Does this man know anything about a blue siren lights allegedly stolen from the top of the police car parked outside Sunderland railway station on December 26 2018? Officer “believe” he may know something…

Blue siren police sunderland
Carry a torch : Be seen – be safe

Posted: 12th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Jews laugh at claims Jeremy Corbyn isn’t an anti-Semite – but not in the Guardian

corbyn gif thornberry

Jeremy Corbyn is upset by people calling him an anti-Semite. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, told Jewish charity Limmud at a meeting in Birmingham that Corbyn finds it “difficult to deal with the problem”. Jewish News reports: “Interviewed by Momentum founder Jon Lansman at one of the last Limmud sessions on Thursday, the Islington South MP also drew laughter when she repeated the claim that ‘there isn’t a racist or antisemitic bone in Jeremy’s body’.” The Islington South MP said of the Islington North MP: “When people accused Jeremy of being an antisemite, he was so upset, and as a result he has found it difficult to deal with the problem.”

Asked by an audience member how, given her comments about such “lazy, undisciplined thinking”, could she serve in a shadow cabinet “under a Labour leader who would surely fail under your own definition?” Thornberry dodged the question, saying: “It is my core belief that only the Labour Party can improve this country and make it more socially just. And it is for that and many other reasons that I am committed to my party and believe it’s my duty to serve my party and make my leader the best leader he can be, and for us to be part of a leadership team.”

The Daily Telegraph reports the story (“Jeremy Corbyn failed to tackle anti-Semitism because he was too ‘upset’, Emily Thornberry says). The Daily Mail bills it as: “Jeremy Corbyn was TOO UPSET to address Labour’s antisemitism crisis: Emily Thornberry is jeered at Jewish charity as she says Labour leader was ‘so upset, he found it difficult to deal with the problem’.” The Sun told us: “JEZ TOO BAD Jeremy Corbyn failed to tackle anti-Semitism because he was ‘so upset’ by racism claims, top ally says.” The Times: notes “Jeremy Corbyn was ‘too upset’ to tackle antisemitism.”

And in the Labour supporting Mirror and Guardian nothing. Not a word. Maybe the papers’ hacks were too upset to type?

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


Salinas doorbell licker caught on camera

To Salinas, California, Roberto Daniel Arroyo, 33, has allegedly one filmed licking a the Dungan family’s doorbell. Arroyo allegedly also nicked extension cords from the Dungan’s Christmas decorations. David Dungan tells the Salinas Californian, the family have disinfected their front porch and “bleached the doorknobs”, We learn:

Officers knew Arroyo because they have encountered him several times previously, (Salinas Police spokesperson Miguel) Cabrera said…

The case has been sent to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file charges. Police are seeking misdemeanor prowling, theft and violation of probation charges, Cabrera said. 

File under: you should see what they do to door knobs and knockers.

Spotter: The Salinas Californiani

Posted: 9th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


The oh deer hunter – Spotlighting killer accidentally grasses up herself

katerina-plotnikova deer

The woman was chuffed to have shot dead a “bigo buck,” a large deer. It was dark, see, and she was testing his skills in killing an unarmed vegetarian. The hunter was boasting about her kill on the Bumble dating app. She sent fellow user Cannon Harrison, 24, a photo of her posed with the dead animal. She told him she’s evened up the fight by “spotlighting” – shining a bright light at the deer so as not to miss and take out a defenceless tree. What the woman did not know was that Harrison is a warden with Oklahoma’s Department of Wildlife Conservation. Spotlighting is illegal. And the season for hunting deer with rifles had ended before she hit her target. Whoops! The Washington Post has more:

“Honestly, the first thing I thought was that it was someone who was messing with me because they knew who I was,” he told The Washington Post. “It seemed too good to be true.”

Armed only with the woman’s first name, a photo and a rough sense of her location, Harrison searched through social media until he had figured out her identity. The next morning, game wardens showed up at her home…

The woman ultimately pleaded guilty to hunting deer out of season and possessing game that was taken illegally, Harrison said…

(She received a fine of) $2,400, according to the Tulsa World — a total that also includes the fines incurred by a man who had been out hunting with her and took home the buck’s head afterward. Because the woman has agreed to pay her share of the fines, she will not face jail time, Harrison said.

Why do people shoot dumb animals? Hunting for sport is pretty much the most politically incorrect thing a human can do. Maybe you can circumvent he outrage by calling yourself an enthusiastic locavore? Get a lod of that delicious organic, free-range, grass-fed, local meat.

It can’t just be about a new ways to enliven the shopping, a bloody reworking of a moribund trip to Asda. Are we after the thrill of a kill? Mark Jenkins took a ride with the hunter-skiers of the Chinese Altay Mountains:

Serik describes a hunt when Tursen skied down on a bounding deer, leaped on its back, grabbed its antlers, and wrestled it down into the snow, the animal kicking and biting. It is a scene that has been repeated for thousands of years in these mountains. Within the Altay, a handful of petroglyphs have been discovered depicting archaic skiing scenes, including one of a human figure on skis chasing an ibex. Since petroglyphs are notoriously hard to date, it remains a controversial clue in the debate over where skiing was born. Chinese archaeologists contend it was carved 5,000 years ago. Others say it is probably only 3,000 years old. The oldest written record that alludes to skiing, a Chinese text, also points to the Altay but dates to the Western Han dynasty, which began in 206 B.C.

Norwegian archaeologists also have found ski petroglyphs, and in Russia, what appears to be a ski tip, carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago, was excavated from a peat bog. Each nation stakes its own claim to the first skiers. What is widely accepted, however, is that whoever first strapped on a pair of skis likely did so to hunt animals.

Ski bores and asinine hunters. Those delicious deer have much to answer for. We ride at dawn.

Posted: 9th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Highlights from Mrs Nick Clegg’s Standard Interview

Mrs Nick Clegg, Miriam Gonzalez Durentez, is talking to the Standard about moving to California for her husband’s new job with Facebook and Brexit. Highlights of the softest of puff pieces are:

“It is never a good time to leave London,” she says with a charming smile. “It is a wonderful place. Please don’t destroy London.”

She came to the UK reluctantly when her husband became MP for Sheffield Hallam in 2005. It’s grown on her. She loves its diversity — and the Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection is in London, where he home is. Sheffield is somewhere else.

Taking a sip of black coffee from a Gruffalo mug, she continues…

It’s particularly concerning for the younger generation. González Durántez has three sons: Antonio, Alberto and Miguel, aged 15, 13 and eight. Their age group “feels strongly” about Brexit.

Most 8-year-olds talk of little else.

It “annoys Nick” that she’s a good sleeper and can spend whole transatlantic plane journeys asleep.

Is the PM a role model? “She doesn’t come up [with the people I speak to] but it might just be the types of girls we meet. In the UK they tend to say Beyoncé is the role model. I think that’s great because she is hard-working. The issue is when you ask, ‘Do you sing?’ and they say no.

Who are her role models? “I have women who, when I am in a conundrum, I think, ‘How would they do it?’ — for example Catherine Day [former secretary-general of the EU Commission].”

Bon voyage.

Posted: 8th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


500,000 Go Missing At People’s Vote March

The figures were in: 700,000 people had walked the streets of London in a demand for a second EU referendum, a so-called People’s Vote. Numbers matter when you’re marching. The bigger the better. Numbers are a key propaganda element in a demonstration. But counting march numbers can be tricky. You either give everyone a numbered ticket (so much for freedom) or count the numbers in a given area and multiply it by the length of the march; or count marchers as they pass a set point.

The number is the headline

The Guardian went big on the numbers. Its writers cheered on the “funky and fun” marchers. The belief was that a second referendum could only produce one victor: remain. The numbers do not lie. “It’s becoming ever clearer that Brexit is a far-right project. No wonder so many people are taking to the streets,” said one columnist. “Approaching 700,000 people marched on Saturday for a People’s Vote – from London’s Marble Arch to Parliament Square. The crowd seemed endless,” said another. A Labour peer “joined 700,000 people on the streets of London to demand a people’s vote on Brexit”. “So the will of the people was important until we discovered they lied to us,” says a child holding a ‘People’s Vote’ placard in the paper’s cartoon. The number stuck.

One month after the march, another columnist again linked Leave voters to the far-right: “Just over a month ago, 700,000 people marched for a people’s vote. Another Europe is Possible has, along with a series of prominent left figures, called for an explicitly anti-Brexit mobilisation on 9 December, which will build numbers for a joint general anti-fascist protest. If remainers mobilise, they could dwarf the pro-Brexit far right.” To say nothing of the pro-Brexit Tory centrists and working class would-be Labour Party voters, which he didn’t.

Like minds in agreement

The Independent told its readers: “More than 700,000 protesters and celebrities join second largest protest in UK this century.” What’s a protest by the people without a few famous faces? I confess to the joy of spotting a celebrity. “Demonstrators from across the UK heard speeches from household names including television presenter Delia Smith and London mayor Sadiq Khan.” Is the London mayor a celeb? The owner of Norwich City FC certainly is. Conservative MP Dominic Grieve might not be.

Brexit

The Guardian placed a hand over one eye and added perspective. “The scale of today’s protest places it in the upper echelons of protests since the millennium,” readers learned. “A march organised by the Countryside Alliance in 2002 calling for Liberty & Livelihood reportedly attracted more than 400,000 people, while the TUC’s March for the Alternative anti-cuts protest in 2011 also saw around 400,000 people take to the streets.”

But then the truth seeped out – or at least something approaching the truth. The Telegraph cites a document by the Greater London Authority. It puts the number of people on the march closer to 250,000. Although it might be fewer if you don’t count the people caught up on the throng on their way to Hyde Park (i.e. me).

Posted: 8th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Arsenal fans support Spurs Yid Army

 

We’re back talking about the ‘Yid Army’ and Spurs fans right to sing what they want to. This week something called The World Jewish Congress – I’ve not been invited to attend – and the Board of Deputies of British Jews – not been invited to that shindig, either – politely requested that Tottenham Hotspur Football Club have a word with their fans. They must tell them to stop freely referring to themselves as ‘Yids’. And that goes for the club’s Jewish fans, too.

Robert Singer, the CEO of the World Jewish Congress, stood in the pulpit and opined: “[The use of the word ‘yid’] by fans in the stands, either as a self-designated nickname or as a slogan against rivals must not be tolerated in any way. We would also ask Tottenham Hotspur to take a stand against the use of ‘Yid Army’, ‘Yid’ and ‘Yiddos’ by their fans. Such a long overdue action is important to kick antisemitism off the pitch and create a welcoming environment for all.” To which the reply from this Arsenal fan is: “We’ll sing what we want to.” 

If Spurs fans want to self-identify as Yids, let them. It’s self-determination. The Yid Army is not the least bit anti-Semitic. What is bigoted and censorious is telling people what they can and cannot say about themselves. Singer and his ilk should spend more time calling out genuine acts of anti-Semitism than disabusing ‘Yids’ of their language. Most anti-Semites I’ve encountered are more subtle than to give full throat to the Yids. They speak of those “clever Jews”, those “rich Jews”, and those Jews who are loyal only to one another and don’t get “English irony”. 

Posted: 7th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Carl Benjamin versus the bowdlerized Web

carl benjamin

‘Validate me’

 

Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad, is no longer appearing on Patreon, the funding platform self-explained as: “Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to get paid.” Or not. You only get on if you’re the right sort of artist making the right sort of art. And Benjamin is the wrong sort. He’s been booted from the platform for breaking the “community guidelines” on hate speech. And here’s the hook: the verboten content was found in an interview Benjamin gave to a YouTube channel. He’s heard calling a sneer (is that the word?) of alt-right trolls “niggers” and “faggots”. Patreon published the transcript of the video. Benjamin explains why he doesn’t like the alt-right crowd and compares them to “white niggers”.

Patreon added: “As a funding platform, we don’t host much content, but we help fund creations across the Internet. As a result, we review creations posted on other platforms that are funded through Patreon. Sargon is well known for his collaborations with other creators and so we apply our community guidelines to those collaborations, including this interview.”

Benjamin is tainted. In conversation with Fraser Myers, of Spiked, Benjamin says: “Ever since I started my YouTube channel, I’ve always been politically incorrect – it is what I do. I had never had a problem with Patreon before because its terms of service were quite specific. They said it had rules around hate speech on its platform, which I think is quite fair and so I didn’t want to break them.” Isn’t anyone who sets out to be politically incorrect less a champion of free speech than a narcissist trying to cause offence, defining themselves by what they are not rather than what they are? He adds: “I think Patreon is trying to sanitise its platform and looking to remove people who the mainstream politically correct establishment find offensive. (I am offensive, of course!)” 

Free speech isn’t about being rude and seeking to cause offence for the sake of it. That’s puerile, crass and cheap. Free speech is simply speaking your mind and testing your thinking. Sharing only increases the goodness. But increasingly, the web is being divvied up into echo chambers. If Patreon isn’t for you, where is? 

Fox has more:

A pair of influential Internet social and political commentators are putting their money where their mouths are, ditching crowd-funding site Patreon over its hate speech rules despite not having any viable alternative.

Dave Rubin raised money for his YouTube show, “The Rubin Report,” through Patreon until recently when he decided to fight back after the crowd-funding site banned participants who used language deemed offensive by the service. Best-selling author Jordan Peterson, a frequent Rubin guest whose lectures draw millions of views on YouTube and who gets funding from the service, joined Rubin in walking out on Patreon.

“The reason that Dr. Peterson and I are leaving Patreon on January 15, despite it being something like 70 percent of my company’s revenue, which I’m voluntarily giving up, is that it is time for someone to take a stand,” Rubin said Thursday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Surely the open market will create a new space:

“Dave Rubin and I (and others) have been discussing the establishment of a Patreon-like enterprise that will not be susceptible to arbitrary censorship, and we are making progress, but these things cannot be rushed without the possibility of excess error,” Peterson wrote last month.

As ever: follow the money. 

Posted: 7th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Bob Einstein tells a funny and a revolting joke

Bob Einstein has died aged 76. Best known for playing Marty Funkhouser in Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Einstein is seen here telling a joke at a show Q&A.

 

 

And this – which is “revolting” and is very NSFW:

 

Here he is pulling over Liberace for playing too fast. Einstein is Officer Judy, the character who made his debut by lip-syncing to a Judy Collins record.

 

 

And not forgetting Super Dave:

 

 

Bob Einstein – November 20, 1942 – January 2, 2019.

Posted: 7th, January 2019 | In: Celebrities, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Wayne Rooney arrested for swearing – US police hunt bear who shat in woods

wayne rooney mug show

 

Wayne Rooney has been arrested and fined in Virginia, USA, for being intoxicated in public and – get this – swearing. A footballer swearing is an offence? Is the Vatican going to nick people wearing funny hats? 

The former England and Manchester United captain, who now rocks up for Major League Soccer’s DC United, was arrested on 16 December “on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police… He was later released on a personal recognizance bond.”

According to reports, Rooney was nicked at Dulles International Airport after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia – where drink is illegal but swearing is fine. Rooney paid a $25 fine and $91 costs on 4 January. A small contribution to the swear box, then, in the land of the free.   

Posted: 6th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Twitch fans demand life ban for alleged domestic abuser

Luke Munday twitch

 

Australian Fortnite player Luke Munday apparently streamed himself on Twitch rowing with his wife off-screen. Noises were heard. We did not see what occurred. He was arrested, charged with assault and banned from the Amazon-owned service. But after 14 days in gaming purgatory (a, er, fortnight), Twitch thought Munday had suffered enough and restored his account. 

Twitch and Munday and Munday’s attorney didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.

Munday, who goes by “MrDeadMoth” on Twitch, was a small-time streamer until the night of Dec. 9. That’s when his pregnant girlfriend, unhappy that he had missed dinner with his family, asked him to stop playing Fortnite and chatting with his Twitch fans.

Angered, Munday went off-screen, but kept the camera running. After Munday left the stream, a slapping sound could be heard on the video, while his girlfriend cried and their two children, both toddlers, were heard screaming.

All a bit weird, no? A grown man with children calling himself MrDeadMoth. The assumption that a corporation should police its users – does it vet all users for criminal records and nastiness? And where does privacy kick in? It’s worth noting that Mr Munday hasn’t been tried in any court of law. His innocent must be presumed. Kotaku notes:

After being apprehended on December 9, Munday was charged with common assault. He was then given a four-week court date adjournment to seek legal advice. On December 30, Munday apparently decided to use some of that time to resume his streaming career, announcing a return stream with the words “let’s be positive.” 

Innocent til proven otherwise, right? But gamers are unimpressed:

“The man who beat his wife on stream (MrDeadMoth) is currently live streaming from your platform,” said Hazz, a member of popular gaming organization Faze clan, on Twitter. “How have you allowed this to happen bruh @Twitch? 30 day ban for saying prohibited WORDS on stream. 14 day ban for literally BEATING your wife on stream.”

“What’s there even to say about this MrDeadMoth guy?” said popular streamer Ellohime. “Dude abused his wife in front of his kids live on stream and is back streaming, but what do I say? Don’t abuse your wife? Don’t let him back? How is this not the MOST common of sense? What am I even typing? This is so absurd.”

“It’s so great as a survivor of domestic abuse & content creator to see a streamer that beat the shit out of his wife while streaming still alive and well on Twitch with 7000+ follows & affiliation,” said streamer Saucy837, who moved from Twitch to Mixer. “Way to send the right message.”

On top of all that, Munday’s return to Twitch netted him a healthy viewer boost, with some presumably there to gawk and others even expressing sympathy. All of the new viewers helped line his pockets, as well as Twitch’s.

Yesterday the Verge added:

Today, the Australian Fortnite streamer MrDeadMoth — otherwise known as Luke Munday, 26 — was banned again from Twitch for an indeterminate period of time, after an outcry from the gaming community. 

What if he’s found not guilty? Will Twitch law trump social justice? 

Posted: 5th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


North Korea’s ambassador to Italy waits an age before defecting

At what point did North Korea’s man in Rome decide to stay in god’s own county indefinitely? I’d wager it’s about a microsecond after the diminuative nutjob Kim Jong-un told him he’s to be posted to…Italy, land of the dolche vita, manbags worn with confidence and food that’s been exported to every Western high street. News that North Korea’s man in Rome, one Jo Song-gil (‘but you can call me Toni’) “may have defected” is shocking only for the uncertainty. Why “may”? You might not flee a Stalinist dictatorship for Hull or Texas. But when Italy beckons you run.

Mr Jo, 48, was despatched to Rome in October 2017 when Italy expelled the previous ambassador in protest over North Korean nuclear testing. His tenure in Italy ended in November – about the time of his vanishing. South Korea’s Joongang Ilbo newspaper claims Mr Jo is seeking asylum in an unidentified western country . Italy is keeping him in a “safe place” her no-one will find him – like Rome’s branch of Gregg’s the bakers. 

The Times:

If he is plotting to defect, Mr Jo will be following in the footsteps of Thae Yong- ho, a former deputy ambassador at the North Korean embassy in London who claimed asylum in South Korea in 2016, claiming he wanted his sons to avoid a “miserable” life in North Korea.

Pyongyang described him as “human scum” and accused him of embezzlement and child rape. 

A public shaming or profiteroles? No contest. Bring on the mad dogs!

Posted: 3rd, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


How to make money from immigration without a boat

Who makes money from jailing asylum seekers? Of the UK’s 10 immigration removal facilities just one is run by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. G4S, Mitie, Serco and US-owned GEO Group operate the other nine. So there must be money in it, right? The Government’s Contracts Finder site reveals the value of contracts when they were awarded – but not all figures are shown. But by way of an example, in 2018 Mitie secured a 10-year deal worth £525m to escort immigration detainees on removal flights to detainees’ home countries and manage airport holding rooms, reporting centres and two short term holding facilities. Mitie declared itself “delighted” at the deal. 

The Daily Beast looks at how outsourcing immigration to private companies in the US pays:

“In 2018 alone, for-profit immigration detention was a nearly $1 billion industry underwritten by taxpayers and beset by problems that include suicide, minimal oversight, and what immigration advocates say uncomfortably resembles slave labor.”

Of course, that’s not to say no problems existed when the state ran immigration centres. It’s useful to ask why the service was outsourced in the fist place. But profit margins seem very generous. In 2017, the Guardian noted a 20.7% profit margin at Brook House in 2016. Brook House at London’s Gatwick Airport is run by G4S. The same company runs Tinsley House, also in Gatwick. The margin was a whopping 41.5%.

The Beast adds: 

Expanding the number of immigrants rounded up into jails isn’t just policy; it’s big business. Yesica’s employer and jailer, the private prisons giant GEO Group, expects its earnings to grow to $2.3 billion this year. Like other private prison companies, it made large donations to President Trump’s campaign and inaugural.

GEO is involved in prison design and electronic tracking:

Pinning down the size and scope of the immigration prison industry is obscured by government secrecy. But the Daily Beast combed through ICE budget submissions and other public records to compile as comprehensive a list as possible of what for-profit prisons charge taxpayers to lock up a growing population, and how many people those facilities detain on average. The result: For 19 privately owned or operated detention centers for which The Daily Beast could find recent pricing data, ICE paid an estimated $807 million in fiscal year 2018.

Those 19 prisons hold 18,000 people—meaning that for-profit prisons currently lock up about 41 percent of the 44,000 people detained by ICE. But that’s not a comprehensive total, and the true figures are likely significantly higher.

Prison pays. Why shouldn’t it? Profits are not guaranteed. In 2015, profit margins for operators in the UK fells to between 5 and 7 per cent.

Richard Garside, director at the charity Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, takes a view: “If the state is going to detain someone, it should be under the auspices of state agencies, not the private sector.” Cynics would argue that Governments grew tired of botching immigration on their own so seduced private firms into the mess. The profits are compensation for reputation damage.

Posted: 3rd, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


The American doctor who will give Jews the wrong medicine

doctor jes cleveland

Screengrab: http://www.cleveland19.com

 

Dr Lara Kollab, 27,  reportedly says she will “purposely give all the Jews the wrong meds”. Dr Lara Kollab, 27, a former resident at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, allegedly wrote: “Allah will kill the Jews.” The Jerusalem Post says she referred to Jews as “dogs”. Knowing how much the British love dogs, this news should upset Daily Mail readers tuning into Sarah Malm’s rehash of a Jerusalem Post story based on an investigation by the Canary Mission, a website, which “documents people and groups that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses”.

The sources say that in January 2012, Dr Kollab wrote – was her account hacked? – “ill purposely give all the yahood the wrong meds…” And in August 2013: “May Allah take back [end the lives] of the Jews so we stop being forced to go to those unclean ones.” 

The Cleveland Clinic has issued a statement: “This individual was employed as a supervised resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. She is no longer working at Cleveland Clinic. In no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization. We fully embrace diversity, inclusion and a culture of safety and respect across our entire health system.” NBC says Kollab was fired as a first-year resident in September after the clinic was made aware of her social media posts.

As for Kollab, the Times of Israel says she hasn’t issued a response to the reports about her. Having been publicly shamed, what should she do? To have your entire life evaluated by a few tweets and the internet is unenviable. Has punishment already been meted out?

Posted: 3rd, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment