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News | Anorak - Part 9

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Shamima Begum: meet Britain’s new celebrity role model

shaming

No longer on the front pages, nonetheless, Shamima Begum remains newsworthy. The Star catches up with the jihadi on page 7. “JIHADI BRIDE’S DAD: DON’T LET HER HOME,” comes the headline. The page is split between a photo of Begum looking like an extra from ‘Wallace and Gromit : The Wrong Gap Year’, a photo of her dad Ahmed Ali – he thinks the State’s decision to revoke his daughter’s citizenship sound because she “does not admit her wrong’ – and news that Begum’s mates in ISIS raped 10-year-olds and left the severed heads of 50 sex slaves in a hole.

Welcome home, Shamima!

Much the same news appears on the Mirror’s page 5. “I am on the side of the Government,” says Mr Ali, “if the law of the land says it’s correct to cancel her citizenships then I agree. I know they don’t want to take her back and in this I don’t have a problem.” Says Begum: “They are taking an example of me.” But Begum wants to make an example of herself.

Over pages 18 and 19, we meet the “famous” Begum and tour her home at the Al-Hawi refugee camp in northern Syria. Larisa Brown goes through the keyhole into Begum’s digs. Who lives in a tent like this? Is it an innocent teenager who suffered at the hands of ferociously influential adult ‘groomers’? Or is it the unapologetic member of a death cult?

The camera zooms in. Shamima Begum “sits crossed-legged in her socks”. No, not school socks. Although given one narrative of the underage teen sexually abused by web perverts, you’d half expect it. On her knee is Jerah. Why the name? The Mail says its in honour of a “7th Century Islamic warlord”. He’s very much today’s modern man in ISIS circles.

As ever with ISIS, talks turns to love. She vows to wait for her husband, the child’s father, a Dutch Islamic convert called Abu Zoraya, but formerly known as Yago Riedijk. When they met she asked him some questions, one of which was what he wanted in a wife. “He told me he was strict and he wanted a good housewife that stays inside,” says Begum. He didn’t want someone who “wants to go out and stuff”. ‘Phew!’ thought Begum. No more competing with better looking, more intelligent women for sexual attention. Pass the shroud. Yago was chuffed. Not only would he get to shag a virgin who’d never know another man and thus remain dead to his limitations, but she was giving him tacit permission to live as a brutal thug and hang out with guys into murder, genocide and rape. I do!

Shamima Begum

It’s hot in the tent. Begum says there’s no tea because she’s can’t heat water. Where’s a Yazidi slave when you need one? (Raped and decapitated – ed).

Begum – whom Brown calls “Shamima” throughout, affording her celebrity status – is “at pains to be conciliatory”. “I am hoping to be given a second chance,” she says. “…I want to help encourage other young British people to think before they make life-changing decisions like this and not make the same mistakes as me.” Hard to make those mistakes now that ISIS is being smashed to bits. And until a new Islamists terror group rise from the blood, teens are advised to lay off pills, sugar and too much ‘screen time’.

“I can’t do that if I’m sitting here in a camp,” she adds of her offer to save young lives. “I can’t do that for you.” Thanks for the offer to work for us, Shamima Begum. But the position of moral guide has been filled. We appreciate your interest.

“Inshalla (God willing) I’ll see you soon,” says Brown to Begum as she leaves the tent. Where they will meet again, who knows where, who knows when. If the UK won’t take Begum, maybe the I’m A Celebrity jungle or Big Brother will?

Posted: 25th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Danny Dyer rescues Shamima Begum: TV hardman brings home ISIS hardwoman

EastEnders actor Danny Dyer has yet to head to Syria to bring home Shamima Begum in a televised docudrama. But he was invited on to Good Morning Britain to tell us that Begum had “lost her soul” when she joined ISIS and should be allowed to come home. Lest you think it odd that an actor is invited to offer his opinion on world affairs on the mainstream telly, know that Geri Halliwell was (and still might be) a UN international ambassador. Her missions to heal the planet were picked up by OK! magazine, proving that when drought, famine and war strike any would-be refugee should ensure they possess a sympathetic backstory about miracle babies, being bullied at school and answer interrogators with the command “GIRL POWER!”. It’s enough.

What Dyer said has been picked up. In a clip posted somewhere on the internet, and picked up by the Sun, a man tells the camera: “This is a message for Danny Dyer, or anyone that f***ing knows him. I’m nearly 58 years old, a scaffolder and used to work for the Royal Marines Commandos… If you’ve got the bollocks to give all the s*** like that on TV and you don’t know anything about the armed forces with kids losing their dads, mums or anything like that then you need to get a grip. You’re making it out like you’re a hard man but you’re as hard as a f***ing lollipop.”

Mate. He’s an actor. But his mum’s up for it, telling us: “To all those w*ers out there slagging off my son for having an opinion. You do realise that he couldn’t give a tuppenny f*** what you think.”

Danny Dyer

Diplomacy reigns – until Jeremy’s Hunt’s aunty breaks ranks.

Posted: 23rd, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Brexit stole my disabled child: a mother’s story that went viral gets corrected

Anna Maria Tuckett Guardian

The story went big. The Guardian comment piece about a mother and her disabled son remaining in the UK post Brexit gained more than 16,000 shares. “People didn’t vote leave for my son to be separated from his mother,” floats the headline about an article by Anna Maria Tuckett. Not that without a People’s Vote we can know for certain if she’s right. But let’s hear her out and assume most of us don’t approve of the State wrenching a mother from her disabled child. “I’m a full-time carer for my disabled son,” Tuckett adds. “What will happen if I’m denied settled status in the UK and have to return to Poland?”

The question might be rhetorical. If it’s not, you may care to without answering until the full facts are known. Happily, after publication and the story going viral, the Guardian bothered to check it:

This update was added on 20 February 2019: In wake of publication of this article, the home office challenged the accuracy of several assertions in the piece. Some amendments were made, and are explained in the footnote below; the following statement from a home office spokesperson is also being inserted here: “The basis of this article is fundamentally wrong. We have made clear that EU citizens will not be refused status under the EU Settlement Scheme because, for example, they are economically inactive. The application only has three key steps – to prove your identity, to prove that you are living here, and to declare any criminal convictions.” Information on funding for help to apply has been included in the footnote.]

Brexit Guardian fail autism

FOOTNOTE:

• Anna Maria Tuckett is a former journalist, writer and full-time carer

• This article was amended on 19 and 20 February 2019 to clarify who warned the author she was “unlikely to qualify for citizenship”: in this case, friends and migration think tanks, as distinct from any government official (no residence application having yet been made, as the story later says). A subheading has been corrected because it wrongly stated that UK settled status could be denied “because” the author is a home-based carer. A paragraph has been deleted because it incorrectly quoted the home secretary, Sajid Javid, as saying EU citizens seeking to stay in Britain would have to prove they have been “assets” to the British economy. A home office statement added that: “We have made up to £9 million of funding available to voluntary and community sector organisations to help us reach more vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members directly to help them get the status they need.”

To recap: can we have a second read?

Posted: 23rd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Aaron Campbell: the face of ‘evil’

aaron Campbell

He’s called Aaron Campbell – the teenager convicted of abducting, raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute last July. The tabloids called him evil. This is, then, what evil looks like.

The Mirror calls Campbell the “Beast of Bute”. The Daily Mail brands him a “twisted narcissist”. You might all him a ****. The Mail also notes in a masterclass in opinion-triggering tabloidese:

The cat-torturing, adrenaline junkie teenager – who was obsessed with gaining YouTube followers, playing violent video games such as Fortnite and recording himself performing acrobatic moves on a trampoline – had received anonymity due to his age, but a judge unmasked him today.

For good measure, the Mail include football of the rapist jumping on a trampoline. They say Osama bin Laden cold do keepy-uppies for a full 30 seconds, and Jon Venables can whistle the Sesame Street theme song. But those videos for another time.

This is all about desperate-for-fame Aaron Campbell, who can now read about how his name came to be known by millions in the papers and online. Until yesterday his name could not be made public on pain of law. The law was unfit for purpose. Trial judge, Lord Matthews agreed with petitioners that naming Aaron Campbell was in the public interest.

aaron CAmpbell
Aaron Campbell

The Sun says there is now “no hiding place” for Alesha’s murderer. The Mirror says there is a price on his head. Fellow inmates at Polmont Young Offenders’ prison know who he is. His lawyer says Campbell is at “risk of attack from others” or “potentially self harm” if his name and picture were in the public domain. They are. Few will weep for Campbell.

EVIL IS…

As for evil and what it is, a few words. Fr. Robert Barron looked at Hannah Arendt, and her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, and St. Augustine:

The young Hannah Arendt had written her doctoral dissertation under the great German philosopher Karl Jaspers, and the topic of her work was the concept of love in the writings of Saint Augustine. One of the most significant intellectual breakthroughs of Augustine’s life was the insight that evil is not something substantial, but rather a type of non-being, a lack of some perfection that ought to be present. Thus, a cancer is evil in the measure that it compromises the proper functioning of a bodily organ, and a sin is evil in the measure that it represents a distortion or twisting of a rightly functioning will. Accordingly, evil does not stand over and against the good as a kind of co-equal metaphysical force, as the Manichees would have it. Rather, it is invariably parasitic upon the good, existing only as a sort of shadow.

J.R.R. Tolkien gave visual expression to this Augustinian notion in his portrayal of the Nazgul in The Lord of the Rings. Those terrible and terrifying threats, flying through the air on fearsome beasts, are revealed, once their capes and hoods are pulled away, to be precisely nothing, emptiness. And this is exactly why, to return to Arendt’s description, evil can never be radical. It can never sink down into the roots of being; it can never stand on its own; it has no integrity, no real depth or substance. To be sure, it can be extreme and it can, as Arendt’s image suggests, spread far and wide, doing enormous damage. But it can never truly be.

Aaron Campbell – the face of evil – might have joined ISIS.

Posted: 23rd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


‘Jihadi’ Jack Letts misses his mum and wants to come home to the UK

Jack LEtts
Jack The Bad / Jack the Sad / Jack the Dad

White Briton, dad of one and Islam convert ‘Jihadi’ Jack Letts wants to leave the Kurdish prison he’s called home for the past two years and come home to the UK. In no particular order, he wants to see his mum, watch Dr Who and eat pasties.

Jack Letts is the the 23-year-old from Oxford accused of travelling to Syria to fight for Islamic State, the group that murders children in Manchester, rapes Christian women and chucks homosexuals from tall buildings. The YPG have charged him with being a member of ISIS.

Letts has been talking with ITV News:

“If the UK accepted me then I’d go back to the UK, it’s my home. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I miss people mostly. I miss my mum. I know that sounds a bit toddler-ish. Even if I could just see my mum – I would just like a phone call, I don’t know if Britain can do that for me here, but I’d like just a phone call to my mum – it’s been two years.”

If not the UK, then Letts can head to Canada – he holds a Canadian passport thanks to his father’s nationality.

Back home in Oxford, mum and dad, Sally Lane and John Letts, are to be tried for sending money to their son. They deny three charges of funding terrorism. They insist their boy went to Syria to help refugees. On the FreeJackLetts blog, they write:

“…we too dream of the day when we will see him again, wrap our arms around him, and convince him that – despite his claim that ‘the world hates me without even knowing me’ – he will again be treated like a human being and not like the media-created monster he has been made out to be.”

Letts’ chat comes as the UK media form a queue to speak with Shamima Begum, the Briton who joined ISIS and has had her British citizenship revoked. You wonder who’s next in the hot seat? Do foreign journalists interview their fellow nationals held in UK prisons? And does it help to get your story widely known before any court case?

Human rights champion Nadia Murad was sold into sexual slavery by ISIS. She escaped, seeking and gayning asylum in Germany in 2015. She wants justice for Yazidi men and women. Upon becoming a Nobel laureate, she said:

“We must work together with determination — so that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but lead to accountability for the perpetrators. Survivors deserve justice. And a safe and secure pathway home.”

Isn’t it time we heard more from the victims?

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Chelsea Balls: Sarri’s sacking and club banned from signing new players for next two transfer windows

Bit of an odd backpage from the Mirror, leading, as it does, with Europa League action from Chelsea and Arsenal’s respective 3-0 victories over the might of Malmo and Bate Borisov. The Mirror leads with one player who scored (Ross Barkley) and one who did not (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang).

Mirror arsenal chelsea

Having thrice told its readers that Chelsea will sack Maurizio Sarri this season, the paper notes that the victory was encouraging. The Guardian says it’s earned Sarri “extra time”. It’s February, and he only started work at Chelsea in July. You’d think Sarri’s tenure at Chelsea would outlast a gap year.

Chelsea are “back on track” says the Express. But beating Malmo is not on the same path as a 6-0 defeat to Manchester City or even a 4-0 loss at Bournemouth. Malmo are a limited side. The players might have “saved Sarri’s skin”, as the Mail puts it, but with a Carabao Cup final with City looming, The Italian will need some armour should they suffer another heavy defeat.

Which they have. The club has been banned from buying players for the next two windows. FIFA says Chelsea are guilty of breaching rules in relation to youth players. Whoever replaces Sarri will have to make do with his players.

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment


Alesha MacPhail: They know why the ‘boy’ killed and remembering Venables and Thompson

Alesha Macphail

In July 2017 Alesha MacPhail was abducted, raped and murdered. Her killer’s name will not be known. The Mail calls him a “boy”. The Scotsman calls him a “teenager”. He’s a “16-year-old” on The Scotsman’s front page. The Metro just says “the teen” in “PURE EVIL”. But we won’t get to know his name.

Alesha was murdered on the Isle of Bute, an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. The country’s law rules that to publish the name, address, school or any other information which could identify anyone under the age of 18 who is the accused, victim or witness in a criminal case in any media is illegal. So don’t. You can, however, name the victim. Alesha MacPhail is the only name that matters.

alesha mcphail

Minds turn to the abduction and murder of James Bulger, 2, in 1993. The names of the guilty – two boys aged 10 – were soon known. Tony Blair stirred the mob, positioning the crime as one emblematic of the country’s dire straits and moral disintegration.

The killers’ families lived in fear of revenge attacks. In 2012, 38 year-old Scott Bradley committed suicide, unable to cope with people mistaking him for Jon Venables, one of the killers. “My son was tormented by the allegations,” said Mr Bradley;s mother. “He had a good heart and didn’t deserve this. It’s been heartbreaking.”

James Bulger newspaper front page
England: 1993 – James Bulger, 2, is abducted, abused and murdered by two boys. We knew their names.

Do we need to know the name of Alesha MacPhail’s murderer? The killer’s own mother helped bring him to justice. She alerted detectives after reviewing footage from two CCTV cameras outside the family home. She watched her son coming and going three times between 01:54 and 04:07 on the night Alesha was murdered. If we know the killer, we know her. Why should an innocent woman wear the stain in public? He will be in jail for a long, long time. Isn’t that enough?

Venables and Thompson were released on parole in 2001 under new identities. They must not ever reveal to anyone who they once were. To do so would land them back in prison. Venables was caught downloading child pornography. He has been jailed indefinitely as it is feared he is likely to reveal his true identity.

Thompson VEnables mugshots
Feb 1993: Jon Venables and Robert Thompson pose for their mugshots.

We don’t know the killer’s name. But do we know why he did it?

Revenge:

The BBC: “The jury heard the teenager previously bought cannabis from Alesha’s father, Robert MacPhail, but the pair fell out five months before her death over an unpaid £10 drug debt.”

A Meme:

The Star: “The unnamed boy, 16, searched for the Slender Man meme, and some of his sick acts mirrored those carried out by the character… Slender Man was invented by users on the Something Awful forum in 2009 for a paranormal Photoshop competition. Shown as a thin, tall, featureless figure in a black suit, in many stories written online about him feature stalking or abducting people, especially children.

Gaming:

The Sun: “The teenager got sick thrills from playing gory video games.”

Bute:

Daily Mail: “How the boy of 16 who murdered ‘angel’ Alesha MacPhail, six, had already ‘almost drowned a girl’ and was mired in a culture of drugs and cheap booze that has gripped the Isle of Bute”

One heinous and blessedly rare crime now defines a place?

His Looks:

Daily Mail: “He is handsome, in a modern, metrosexual way, with luxuriant, swept-over hair and a milky complexion. Dressed immaculately, in a tartan suit and collar and tie, he gave evidence with great self-assurance.”

So much for the CV.

No Idea:

BBC: ‘Judge Lord Matthews told the killer he had stolen Alesha’s life by “committing some of the most wicked and evil crimes this court has ever heard of in decades of dealing with depravity”. He said he had “no idea” why the teenager carried out the murder, and described the evidence in the case as “overwhelming”.’

Kicks:

Sky News: “Alesha MacPhail: Killed for the ‘life experience’?”

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Jussie Smollett: and the Oscar for the biggest liar goes to…

Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett has been arrested in Chicago. His alleged crime: filing a false police report in which he claimed to be the victim of a homophobic and racist physical attack by two men, allegedly Ola and Abel Osundairo. There was no CCTV and no witnesses to support the claim the Empire actor was punched, his head placed in a noose and told “this is Maga country”, a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Smollett was “forever changed” by the incident. He became a recognisable victim of hate. And, boy, is being hated the ultimate thing to be in this era of victimhood-seeking. Smollett bore the scares. He became ambulatory proof that violent fascism is on the march.

But…

Police suspect the 36-year-old actor paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the attack. They are both co-operating with the investigation, US media report. His lawyers have not yet commented. On Wednesday, they said they would “mount an aggressive defence”…

On Wednesday, CBS Chicago obtained footage which appeared to show two people buying materials, including ski masks, that had allegedly been worn by the actor’s attackers.

White Nigerians? Nope. Circumspection be gone!

Ha! You believed him. Psych! He’s an actor!

America will eat itself.

Posted: 21st, February 2019 | In: News | Comment


Breaking News for Labour, Corbyn and Guardian-reading anti-Semites: not all Jews agree about Israel, films or Chinese food

"Jews for Jez" - with a yellow star, to boot. Some people, eh.
“Jews for Jez” – with a yellow star, to boot. Some people, eh.

Over 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party must be pleased to see their letter urging us to support Labour and Jeremy Corbyn has been published in the Guardian. Others will also be chuffed. The list should save time for anyone gathering names.

In 2003, the Observer (the Guardian on Sunday) published a column by Richard Ingrams in which he made the “suggestion” that anyone defending the Israeli government should declare whether or not he is a Jew lest the fair fine-minds mistake them for a Catholic, Muslim or of the Papist-Quaker babble. “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,” wrote Ingrams. “If so, I tend not to read it.”

Ingrams Israel

Jews are clever, you see. They are the only peoples for whom being called clever is an insult. It doesn’t mean you did well at maths, although some do, it is a cleverness built on cunning and duplicity say their judges defending the proles from their innate gullibility. The Jew will hide their true self to trick you into agreeing with their views. Best they identify themselves from the off so that their opinions can be fully known without the need to consider the argument’s merits and flaws.

Not only are you, dear reader, too thick to think for yourself, but the Jew is not to be trusted, their thoughts must not taken at face value. Know a Jew and know their thinking. Declare you names and number, Jews.

But no two Jews are exactly alike. We disagree over films, telly and if Chinese food is better for the soul than chicken soup? Some Jews think Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is “institutionally racist” and that he is an antisemite. The Jewish Chronicle newspaper told its readers in late 2018: “More than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic.” Other Jews, as signatories to today’s letter in the Guardian state, think “the Labour party under the progressive leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is a crucial ally in the fight against bigotry and reaction”. They “urge all who wish to see an end to bigotry and racism, and who seek a more just society, to give their support to the Labour party.”

You see? When you ascribe views and loyalties to people on the basis of their religion or ethnicity you narrow your field of vision. You paint them as something other than the norm.

The letter made me wonder. Did Jews write the letter after asking themselves two things: when did you become something exceptional and desperate to prove yourselves loyal to the country? And what role did Jeremy Corbyn play in your thinking?

Take your time, Jews. Corbyn has invited Hamas for tea, shared platforms with anti-Semites, liked a mural depicting hook-nosed bankers running the world, been present but not participating as a wreath was laid to the perpetrators of the Munich Olympics massacre but he knows you Jews need schooling. He laid out his two paths for improvement as he bemoaned the activities of Zionists: “One is that they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. I think they need two lessons, which we can help them with.”

It’s between them and us. Are you one of the knowing or the strange? Now vote.

Posted: 21st, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Shamima Begone! ISIS member is up ‘Brit Creek’ as Home Office removes citizenship

Shamima Begum newspapers

Shamima Begum, the Londoner who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, will not be coming ‘home’ to the UK. The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has revoked her citizenship. He writes to her parents: “In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served on file today (19th February), and the order moving her British citizenship has subsequently been made.”

Begum’s family say they will explore “all legal avenues to challenge this decision”. All roads lead to “Brit creek” says the Star. Or Asia. Shamima Begum holds Bangladeshi as well as British citizenship which allowed the Home Office to go ahead, says Sky News. She’s not stateless. The Home Office acted quickly. The UK’s gain is Bangladesh’s loss.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey says the UK is “palming off” Ms Begum to another country – which ISIS isn’t, despite its violent attempts to become one.

On BBC TV’s Newsnight King’s College London’s Shiraz Maher opines: “I think it’s a very dangerous decision, it does create this perception that there is a two-tier system and a system that’s frankly racist.” Perception is not fact. It all depends on you angle of approach. Come closer, within stabbing distance, and look at Shamima Begum?

But really? If the government can revoke Shamima Begum’s citizenship, it can cancel your, too. At least it can if you associate with people it does not like.

Posted: 20th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Shamima Begum: Jeremy Corbyn understands you

Shamima Begum

Do we really care what Shamima Begum thinks of us? If you sign up to the view that Begum is a victim of grooming, a victim of sexual exploitation as one nodding head opined on Sky telly yesterday, a victim of the UK’s lax security in allowing 15-year-old to leave the country, as she was when she left London for Syria, a victim… you buy into the message that nothing she says is an expression of her own thoughts, they’re words planted in her throat by nefarious types who rape children, enslave women, decapitate men and throw homosexuals from tall buildings.

But if you believe in free will, consider it questionable that Begum was a passive web-surfer looking for pop vids who was mind-altered and “brainwashed” when she saw a preacher extolling jihad, you’ll afford her the dignity of self. What she says is what she means. So when she talks about the murders of 22 people and the injuries sustained by 800 more when a fellow ISIS fan bombed an Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, you know she’s saying what she thinks. “How dare she?” asks the Sun, which claims she says the attack was justified. “How could she?” asks the Express. Answer: she’s a self-declared jihadi. Murdering infidels is what they do.

“Even though I was only 15 years old, I could make my own decisions,” says Begum. “But I will admit, it’s my fault right now. I just want forgiveness from the UK. Everything I’ve been through, I didn’t expect I would go through that.”

But she continues to talk. And she doesn’t come over as being all that bright:

“Isis Briton compares Manchester bombing to western airstrikes. I do feel that is wrong. Innocent people did get killed. It’s one thing to kill a soldier, it’s fine, it’s self-defence. But to kill people like women and children, just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings. It’s a two-way thing really…

“This is kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought that is a fair justification. That was unfair on them … They weren’t fighting anyone. They weren’t causing any harm. But neither was I and neither [were the] other women who are being killed right now back in Baghuz.”

It’s muddled thinking. And it’s not a lot unlike the sort of thing you hear from Jeremy Corbyn’s fans for whom moral equivalence is a moveable target. Like Corbyn, Begum was there but not participating.

Joanna Williams touched on the same in a story about Labour’s problem with Jews and the Party’s attitude to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which after much hand-ringing and self-serving bullshit it adopted in full:

The idea that the Labour Party champions free speech beggars belief. Amid the protests and counterprotests surrounding the NEC meeting, activists – including those previously expelled from the party over claims of anti-Semitism – chanted ‘IHRA no, BDS yes’. The mental gymnastics involved in rejecting a definition of anti-Semitism in order to defend free speech in the very same breath as backing a campaign that curtails academic freedom and free cultural exchange are astonishing. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aims to stop singers, sports stars and actors performing in Israel and explicitly calls for the censorship of Israeli scholars and scientists abroad. In putting a political and geographical proviso on free speech, BDS activists negate the entire principle.

It’s not me, it’s them, says Begum. They made me do it but I also went of my own free will. Verstehen sie? So forgive me. Look only to yourselves. Because in this age of narcissism, it’s all abut you.

Posted: 19th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


‘We’re fu**ed’: Labour split press conference gets X-rated voiceover

Seven Labour MPs announced their split from the party in a press conference. Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey, announced their decision to a packed room. The microphones picked up a running commentary: ‘We’re fucked”:

Posted: 18th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Labour is racist to the core: three cheers for the Magnificent 7 – Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey

Corbyn anti-semitism

Yes! A vote for Labour is a vote for Jew hatred. Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey did the right thing. Fuck you, Jew haters. Just fuck you!

The above are the MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism. They took a stand.

Ms Berger says Labour is institutionally anti-Semitic. She became “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay. Hurrah! Where are the rest of you?

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he’s “disappointed”. Balls. He’s chuffed. He can now look to replace them with some loyalists less sensitive to his myopia.h

The Magnificent 7 will sit in Parliament as the Independent group.

Note: For the past few years I’ve seen the growth of antisemitism first hand – the violence (yeah – I got in a fight); the casual Jew hatred; the mainstreaming of racism (I believe they’re called ‘tropes’ – rich Jew; powerful Jew; bloodthirsty Jew; barbaric Jew; disloyal Jew); and the shameful acquiescence to it in politics, society, over a pint, among ‘friends’, and at school, where a child told one of my own as she pushed her from a group that Jews were not allowed the play; Jews were not allowed to her house; Jews could not come to the party. The school did NOTHING. And not one parent would go on the record and back us up when we complained. Shame on you all.

Posted: 18th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Shamima Begum wants sympathy for the devil

Shamima Begum sympathy

Shamima Begum says she deserves our sympathy. The newspapers largely disagree. Begum is the women who at age 15 wilfully travelled to join ISIS.

You might sympathize with the Christian women and children ISIS sold as slaves and raped – “They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try and sell them. The younger girls… are raped or married off to fighters. It’s based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters”; Keith Palmer, the policeman murdered as he guarded democracy in Westminster; the Kurds butchered; David Haines, an aide worker beheaded as he helped the stricken at a refugee camp; Olivia Campbell-Hardy, who was 15 when she was murdered at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester – a death ISIS celebrated wildly. You want more? Is that not enough? Here’s one more: ISIS loved it when the guys and gels murdered Saffie Roussos. Like Olivia and so many others, Saffie was watching a pop concert when she was murdered. “She loved life, she loved music,” her dad Andrew told the BBC. Sympathy? Your heart breaks for him.

No more. The Sun has heard enoughIt tells Shamima Begum to jog on. It quotes Conservative MP David Davies as saying: “The only thing she regrets is that ISIS lost.” The paper’s editorial calls on the government to look at “every legal avenue” to ensure that she never returns to Britain.

“The Daily Mirror focuses on Begum’s statement to Sky TV that she initially had a “good time” in Islamic State. The 19-year-old does not regret joining the extremist group.

The Mail hears Begum say he was just a “housewife” in ISIS. She cooked, cleaned and was ok with the beheadings. Well, so long as she can get the bloodstains off the towels and hubby didn’t use her best knife to slice off the infidels’ heads, all’s good.

In the Times, Tasnime Akunjee, a solicitor hired by her family to help bring her back to Britain, opines: “In terms of the political landscape what she’s saying isn’t helpful [but] she’s somebody who was persuaded to go out there. She will need help. She will obviously have to be de-radicalised.”

Doesn’t she just need locking up? She’s no victim.

He adds: The Nazis had the Nuremberg trials. They were given due process. This girl was a victim when she went out there at 15 years old. Our politicians are saying that she should be denied protections and due process that would have been granted to Nazis.”

Yeah, good one Tasnime. They also had the death penalty. Keep working on that defence…

Posted: 18th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Watch Bruno Ganz as Hitler

Bruno Ganz

Bruno Ganz (22 March 1941 – Died: 15 February 2019) played Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall. “His depiction of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker as the Third Reich collapsed around him spawned so many memes that maybe you never saw the original. You should”. So says Jerry Dunleavy. He’s right:

Bruno Ganz as Hitler in Downfall (2004)

Bruno Ganz (22 March 1941 – Died: 15 February 2019) played Hitler in the 2004 film 'Downfall'. "His depiction of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker as the Third Reich collapsed around him spawned so many memes that maybe you never saw the original. You should" – Jerry Dunleavy

Posted by Flashbak on Sunday, 17 February 2019

Posted: 17th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Paul Hollywood’s sex life: dreams of Summer Lovin’

Paul Hollywood Summer
Summer Lovin’

Paul Hollywood is the subject of a Great British headline in the Great British Sun. Hollywood is a star of The Great British Bake Off, a TV show proving that if you use ‘Great British’ as an epithet, anything can be improved. The shock is that no-one has called it the Great British Brexit and Channel 4 has yet to broadcast 100 Great British murders. But give it time.

Hollywood is newsworthy because a) he dresses like a late middle-aged divorcee on the pull in a provincial nightclub – big cuffs, open neck shirt, diver’s watch, fringed mouth – chasing the kind of women you imagine they couldn’t pull when they were in their twenties; and b) the 52-year-old’s 23-year-old lover has had a run-in with his 54-year-old (estranged) wife.

Alex (wife) is said to have called Summer Monteys-Fullam (lover) a “slut” and a “whore”. Since both are badges of honour, we wonder if Summer thanked Alex? She didn’t. She called the police complaining of harassment.

We then get to see a photo of Summer and her sister Saskia (26) – their mum is called Sabina (48) – giving the world the finger via Instagram – which affords the Sun the chances to appraise the £9,000 ring Hollywood gave Summer and try to fathom the image’s accompanying message: “Got youuuuuuuu.” What to make of that? And what to make of the Sun’s opinion that this was a “bust-up” between “Paul’s women”? This is how you describe the main player in a televised mid-life car-crash. You get on first name terms with the man of whom Summer once stated on Instagram, having first labelled him her “amazing boyfriend”, he “turned me from a girl to a woman, and to a house woman”.

No word of reply to that from ‘Paul’. But it’s not hard to imagine that in his head he’s swaying his hips, tossing his soft leather blouson biker’s jacket over his shoulder and in the manner of John Travolta in Grease telling the Viagra poppers at the country club about his latest bout of ‘Summer lovin’.

Posted: 16th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Shamima Begum: the making of a martyr

Covington
“Vermin”

Is Shamima Begum’s situation all about Islam? Called “foolish” and an “abstract concept” for joining ISIS, media reaction to the teenager who joined an outfit committed to mass murder, who expresses no remorse for having done so, can be compared and contrasted to the treatment meted out to the Covington Boys. Like Begum, the Covington boys are religious, attending a US Catholic high school.

They are mostly white. Begum is dark skinned, her parents hail from Bangladesh. The Covington boys’ crime was to have attended the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. and in the face of a prolonged verbal onslaught by the Black Hebrews as they waited for coaches home – during which they were called “fagots” and “products of incest and paedophiles” – were filmed smirking at Nathan Phillips, a Native American who had approached them. For this the boys were called “vermin“, racists, Trump fans whose MAGA hats were “akin to the new white hood” and “products of a hate factory”. The boys were the embodiment of “blatant hate, disrespect and intolerance”. Begum, on the other hand, was “groomed“.

Shamima BegumShamima Begum
Victim

The Covington boys apologised, although it remains unclear to anyone sane what they did wrong. Being a surly, sarky teen is no crime.

Begum has expressed no remorse. She says she only left the battlefields to return to the UK and have a child on the NHS.

What is it about fair-mined liberals that turns white, Catholic teenage boys in baseball caps into something less than human and demonic, but presents a dark-skinned, Islamic teenage girl who joined a death cult into a victim? They marched peacefully to end abortion. She joined a group that pledges to murder gays, Jews and Christians, rapes underage girls sold in slave markets, and murdered children at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. They smirked and danced. Her reaction at being shown the remains of her gang’s handiwork was “When I saw my first severed head it didn’t faze me at all”.

The prejudice is blatant. But why is it there?

Not that this is to say anti-Islam bigotry is not prevalent. The Mail gives space to Tania Joy, a former jihadi who “called for Begum to be given a second chance for the sake of her unborn child – and for a law ‘to protect children from their religion’.” Ban Islam? Make it a crime to be Muslim? Why give space to such an abhorrent view?

The argument that all of Islam is to blame for a death cult is patently absurd. What of the Islamists’ many Muslim victims? But let’s no dig too deep. If you need more time to work out why calls to ban a religion are revolting, why are you here?

The paper adds:

In comments that place much of the blame on Islam rather than on personal responsibility, she added: “I wish there was a law in England that could protect children from their religion.

“If I had grown up in an agnostic, atheist, or even a Christian or Jewish home, I would not have been exposed to these suppressive ideas of women and how god controls everything – and it is just such a lie.

“I feel sorry for [Shamima], she is so young, she has been in a toxic environment for all these years where she is not allowed to think anything different from the rest of the group. She is still in that state. She is only 19 and that’s when I radicalised.

Can Shamima Begum be saved by turning away from Islam and towards Jesus?

Today, estranged from her British family, Miss Joya is the wife of IT executive Craig Bruma, 49, who answered an advert she placed on dating website match.com stating: ‘I have four kids. My husband abandoned me to go and become the next Osama Bin Laden.’

Twice divorced himself and a father of three sons, he has introduced her to ‘Unitarian Universalism’, which is based in Christianity but advocates a ‘search for spiritual growth’.

Mohammed kills. Jesus saves. An odd take on the Shamima Begum story, for certain. And it avoids the biggest question: why did Shamima Begum seek an alternative life with ISIS to the one offered in the UK? It’s lazy to see her as a passive target of grooming. You don’t happen along a video of a man preaching genocide and global jihad, keep watching and eventually sign up unless his message chimed with you. And you don’t prevent social division of a sort so violent it ends up in mass murder by presenting one group as eternal, unalloyed victims who must be tip-toed around less offence be caused.

Come home, Shamima, by all means. Face your days of reckoning. But let’s not let prejudice turn her into a martyr.

Posted: 16th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Shamima Begum: ‘I want to live a quiet life with my baby’ away from the cameras

Shamima Begum and husband

Shamima Begum’s story that will only grow. Today the Times, which spotted Begum living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria, tells us that the teenager who left London to join Islamic State in Syria wants to come home and raise her baby.

Now 19 and nine-months pregnant, Begum is the subject of heated debate. One Times writer says Begum is nothing but a “credulous fool”. She “has suffered the unspeakable tragedy of seeing two infants die for want of effective hospital care”. She “fled a brutal battlefield”. And “yet it is all but impossible to feel sorry for her”. It’s the bits about viewing severed heads with a dispassionate eye and having no remorse for signing up to ISIS that grinds. “That’s why I really want to get back to Britain,” she says pointing to her unborn child, “because I know it will be taken care of, health-wise at least.” Entitled, moi?

“What do you think will happen to my child?” she asks. It’s a good question. “Because I don’t want it to be taken away from me, or at least if it is, to be given to my family.” The baby dad, the Dutch jihadist Yago Riedijk, whom she loves “very much” is busy helping those fighters allied to the Syrian Democratic Forces who nabbed him with their enquiries.

“I knew that coming back to the UK wouldn’t be a quiet thing. It’s uncomfortable,” she adds. “If I ever do go back, it’ll be a long time before the cameras stop and all the questions stop.” She sees media intrusion affecting her stated desire to “come home and live quietly with my child”. Unless she means the cameras in a secure unit, which she most likely does not.

Posted: 16th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Shamima Begum: Guantanamo Bay or Bethnal Green for ISIS teen; and the Manchester bomb

What to do with Shamima Begum, the 19-year-year-old Londoner who at 15 ran away to join ISIS – the death cult that murders gays, Christians and Jews, rapes Christian children it sells into slavery and murders families an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester? After the Times spotted a heavily pregnant Begum in a refugee camp, the debate has raged: do we let her in or keep her out? In a headline so trite is should come with a health warning, the Manchester Evening News reports: “Shamima Begum’s plea to come home is backed by three Good Morning Britain guests.” It’s not war, human heads in bags and genocide. It’s entertainment.

Shamima Begum’s relatives want her back in Britain. Home Secretary Sajid Javid says he “will not hesitate” to prevent the return of those who have supported terrorist organisations abroad. The teenager’s brother-in-law calls for “compassion and understanding”. She’s pregnant, after all. Shamima wants the NHS to care for her unborn child – she lost two babies to illness while living in Syria.

But can she in law be banned from returning to the UK? Yes. Maybe. The Sun says her permanent exclusion from Britain is an option for officials. Or if she does return, can she be jailed? Being a member of a terrorist group is a crime, right? But there is no evidence she took active part in the ultra violence. And she went to Syria as a minor.

There should be some kind of reckoning if she returns. Begum says she wants to “come home and live quietly with my child”. No chance. That’s not how it works. Something happened. She can’t airbrush history and her alleged crimes. She is no victim. Some say she was “groomed”, as if Begum was a passive presence as she chatted about the stuff ISIS is into and found it deeply attractive.

So are we after redemption or simple punishment? And are we bothered more by what any decision says about her than about us? What are out values?

Maybe Begum should be sent to Guantanamo Bay? The Telegraph says most jihadis who return to the UK from Syria are on “secretive” government rehabilitation schemes. “Let Shamima Begum come back, say Bethnal Green residents,” says one Guardian headline. What they say about her in Manchester no-one bothered to find out?

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


Pristine copy of first Super Mario Bros game sells for $100,150

To the attic! An unopened copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. original 1985 game has sold at auction for $100,150.

From the auction house:

“Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation,” says Kenneth Thrower, co-founder and chief grader of Wata Games.

Due to its popularity, Nintendo reprinted Super Mario Bros. from 1985 to 1994 numerous times, resulting in 11 different box variations (according to this visual guide). The first two variations are “sticker sealed” copies that were only available in the New York and L.A. test market launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1986. Of all the sealed copies of Super Mario Bros., this is the only known “sticker sealed” copy and was certified by Wata Games with a Near Mint grade of 9.4 and a “Seal Rating” of A++.

“Not only are all of NES sticker sealed games extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years,” Thrower said. “This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist.”

A group of collectors joined forces Feb. 6 to purchase the game, including some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole. The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Rich Lecce, renowned coin dealer, pioneering video game collector, and owner of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc of Boca Raton, Florida.

“Super Mario Bros. is not only the most recognizable game of all time, it saved the video game industry in 1985,” said Wata Games President, Deniz Kahn. “In terms of rarity, popularity, and relevance to collectors, this game has it all. Mario is the most recognized fictional or non-fictional character in the world, more so than even Mickey Mouse. Super Mario Bros. launched the world’s largest game franchise and this copy is the only known sealed example from Nintendo’s test market release…

“Gieg called this example the equivalent of the valuable comic book, Action Comics #1. “This is first appearance of Superman of video games,” he said. “We all knew how hard it is to find an open copy of this version in nice condition, but to find one still sealed is truly something I thought I would never see, even after selling vintage video games for over 20 years”

Spotter: Heritage Auctions

Posted: 15th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


The taming of Shamima Begum: British teen who joined ISIS wants to come home

Shamima Begum (pictured in her passport photo)

Teenagers, eh. They slam doors, get pierced and run off to join ISIS in Syria, where they pledge Holy War, death to Jews, Christians and gays, and champion the subjugation of women, rapes and paedophilia. Shamima Begum, 19, is the British-born bride of an ISIS fighter and nine months pregnant. She wants to come home.

In February 2015, Begum left the UK to join ISIS. The Mail sums it all up in a long headline: “Unrepentant former London schoolgirl, 19, who ran away to join ISIS with two friends flees last-stand battle while ‘nine months pregnant with third baby’ after two more children died in Syrian warzone and begs to come home.”

Got it? You can read more in the Times, which tracked Begum down. The paper’s man in a sandpit finds her “weak and exhausted from her escape across the desert”. She “nevertheless looked calm and spoke with a collected voice.” Can we lend a sympathetic ear to the young woman who left Bethnal Green to see the world (and conquer it by deadly force).

Anthony Loyd, reporting from Al‑ Hawl, Northern Syria, where Begum lives in a refugee camp, then delivers a cinematic moment:

With those words and the act of lifting her niqab, a mystery ended. The girl sitting before me, alone in a teeming Syrian refugee camp of 39,000 people where she is registered as No 28850, was Shamima Begum, the only known survivor of the three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy whose fate has been unknown at home since they fled Britain together in 2015 to join Islamic State.

Where is David Lean when you need him most to overlook the pubescent boys being sold in the market, the slave girls and the murderous racism to focus on the cheekbones and to-die-for pashminas?

And on it goes, the soft focus look at the woman who dared and is now demure. One Guardian writer tells us: “Having been found alive and nine months pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp, Begum is no longer an abstract concept.” What gutless, pliable tosh. An abstract concept doesn’t charge at your mum with a knife.

Security Minister Ben Wallace says Begum “has a right to come home”. He added: “British citizens have rights whoever they are but if they have gone join IS and return to the UK they can expect to be questioned and, if possible, prosecuted… Actions have consequences. I think the public will be reflecting on why these people want to return to a country they said they hate.”

Why? Take a seat. Grab the popcorn:

“I was weak,” she told me of her flight from the battle in Baghuz, with something akin to remorse. “I could not endure the suffering and hardship that staying on the battlefield involved. But I was also frightened that the child I am about to give birth to would die like my other children if I stayed on. So I fled the caliphate. Now all I want to do is come home to Britain.”

Begum is showing “something skin of remorse” to Times readers. But on LBC radio Dr Kim Howells, a former Foreign Office and Counter-Terrorism Minister, is raging:

“You can bet your bottom dollar there will be a lobby that will swing into action to get this girl home on humanitarian grounds. But she sounds to be completely unrepentant, she sounds cynical, she said she wasn’t phased by the sight of these heads in a bin as she described it. And she sounds well educated. She was obviously deluded by Islamic propaganda and now she wants to take advantage of the NHS. She wants to get back to a country which is the antithesis of this Caliphate that was so attractive for so many people and responsible for so much brutality. There’s not going to be many people with great enthusiasm for bringing her back, but I suspect she will make it in the end.”

Must she sound anything other than herself? The two friends Begum left London with – Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase – also each married an ISIS foreign fighter. Ms Sultana was reported killed two years ago. Here are some more highlights from Begum’s jaunt:

On her Dutch-born husband, a Muslim convert:

“They imprisoned and tortured him for six and a half months after accusing him of spying. There was a lot of similar oppressions of innocent people. In some cases fighters who had fought for the caliphate were executed as spies even though they were innocent.”

On city life:

“Mostly it was a normal life in Raqqa, every now and then bombing and stuff,. But when I saw my first severed head in a bin it didn’t faze me at all. It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam. I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance.”

And then the camera zooms in:

Though Ms Begum’s husband still urged her to be patient, grief at the loss of her two children accentuated an overwhelming desire to ensure her unborn child survived. “In the end, I just could not endure any more,” she said. “I just couldn’t take it.”

Will there be a sequel?

“The caliphate is over,” she said. “There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me as I have read all that was written about me online. But I just want to come home to have my child. That’s all I want right now. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child.”

Anything? Names. Places. Dates. And maybe we can swap Begum for one of the Yazidi women enslaved and raped by her old gang? And if they need staff, Begum’s looking for a new career…

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


Madeleine McCann: three cops; one source; and freedom of no information request

maddie mccann reward

There’s been very little news of Madeleine McCann. The story has lost its push. But the Star and other tabloids plough gamely on, waiting for an new fact to add to the only one we know: child vanishes.

The Star, Sun and Mail all bring news that police were “secretly investigated for misconduct”. To the Star and Sun they are “Madeleine McCann cops”, part of the missing child’s private and personalised police force. The Mail and Star’s stories are based entirely on the Sun’s.

The Sun’s scoop tells readers that the police officers who worked on the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance were accused of “neglect or failure in their duty”. The Sun sums up:

Each officer was accused of “neglect or failure in their duty” while working on the Met Police’s £12million investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. But two allegations were not upheld and one was later withdrawn after Scotland Yard found there was no case to answer.

It is not clear if the complaints were made by members of the public or Madeleine’s family.

Sources even hinted that internet trolls could be responsible.

We know that no officers did anything wrong thanks to a freedom of information request. And after the facts, we get the theorising in the Star:

Madeleine’s parents Kate, 50, and Gerry, 49, of Rothley, Leics, believe their girl, who would now be 16, could still be alive.

Believe. Could. Guexses and hunches in place of news and facts.

And in the Sun we get an unnamed “source “to tell us:

One said: “Because the precise details of the allegations aren’t made public, it’s entirely possible good officers have been subjected to a complaints process even though there may be little merit in the allegations against them.”

There may be little merit in the story; there may be some merit in the story. The source is available for comment either way…

Posted: 14th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Creating Anti-Vax news for clicks; Darla Shine says measles is ‘LOL’; LadBible accused; cancer patients worry

Darla Shine used to be a producer for Fox News producer. She’s married to Bill Shine, the White House deputy chief of staff of communications. Darla thinks a measles outbreak in Washington state and Oregon is terrific. A highly infectious viral illness is “LOL”:

Darla Shine measles

Fame beckons. So she trolled on:

Darla Shine measles

Darla might well realise that because measles is riding high on the news cycle, clicks can be had by whopping it up for anti-vax and science deniers. The LadBible gets it.

And Darla? Hey, fame costs, and if an outbreak of measles is the price, so be it:

If your immunes system is weak – say, by chemotherapy – you can thank the anti-vaxers for making life that much more perilous.

Tara C. Smith noted:

What many forget is that we had a massive outbreak of measles in the United States from 1989–1991. While our 644 cases in 2014 seems high compared with recent years, 25 years ago measles incidence spiked to 18,000 cases per year, with a total of more than 55,000 infections before the outbreak began to dwindle. It was the largest measles outbreak in this country since the 1970s. … Despite our advances and our modernity and our status as a developed country, we still saw 123 measles deaths during this epidemic—here, in the United States, where we get plenty of Vitamin A. There were also 11,000 hospitalizations—fully one-fifth of people infected with measles became sick enough to be hospitalized.

Eugenics is back.

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


Phone lottery scammer tried to con former CIA and FBI boss William Webster; scammer lost

William Webster lottery scam

Keniel A Thomas, 29, was a scammer who could not fail – not until he called William Webster (born March 6, 1924), the man who served as chief of the CIA and FBI. Thomas is now serving a six-year sentence. “Everybody’s vulnerable every grandmother, every grandfather,” said the former spy chief’s wife, Lynda Webster. “It seemed to me that something wasn’t quite right,” said Webster, 94. “This was pretty obvious to me that there was something fishy about it.”

The calls to the Webster home started in March 2014, with various men calling to tell William Webster he had won the lottery. In June, Thomas began calling, identifying himself as “David Morgan,” a manager with Mega Millions. However, Webster saw that he had an email address of keniel.thomas@outlook.com. He asked “Morgan” to stop calling, but Thomas not only continued to call but also sent more than 20 emails to Webster. At one point in July 2014, Thomas called Lynda Webster and told her that he knew no one was at her home the previous night. In another call, Thomas told Lynda Webster, “So easy that we go set your house ablaze, how is that? … You can be taken care of that easy.”

The FBI was able to link the Websters to other victims who had reported sending funds to Thomas or interacting with “David Morgan,” or who had sent funds to American middlemen who were also victims. Agents tracked payments through Western Union and MoneyGram to Thomas or members of his family, court records show. One California man reported receiving certified checks in exchange for sending “fees” to Jamaica, and wound up sending $85,000 to the scammers even though the certified checks all bounced.

Spotter: Washington Post

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


‘Satan Lives’ in my toaster – a classic TV news clip

To Boca Raton, Florida, where Satan has taken refuge in a toaster. “SATAN LIVES,” says the message on the toast. “When all said and done,” reasons the keeper of Hell’s flame, “it makes good toast.”

Spotter: flashbak

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment