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Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air

Sarah Goodridge’s Beauty Revealed (1828) – a statesman’s naked keepsake

In 1828, American artist Sarah Goodridge (February 5, 1788 – December 28, 1853) gave a miniature portrait of her naked breast to US Statesman and would-be President (he tried and failed three times) Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852).

As Flashbak writes, the miniature is painted in watercolours on a sliver of ivory. It’s wrapped in a blood-red leather case and closed with two clasps.

Sarah Goodridge’s Beauty Revealed

The author John Updike muses on the picture’s meaning in his 1993 essay The Revealed and the Concealed, verbalising the breasts’ message: “We are yours for the taking, in all our ivory loveliness, with our tenderly stippled nipples.”

An early sext, then?

Via: Flashbak. Sarah Goodridge’s Beauty Revealed is at The Met.

Posted: 17th, January 2021 | In: Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


Elizabeth was not ready for the Trump Revolution

Elizabeth came to Washington DC from Knoxville, Tennessee, to march for Donald Trump.  She made it a foot inside the Capital before she says she was maced and forced back outside. Elizabeth is upset. Elizabeth was not ready to the Revolution.

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


Lord above: Daniel Hannan overthrows the elites and then becomes one

“The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention of conferring Peerages of the United Kingdom for Life upon Daniel Hannan – formerly Member of the European Parliament for South East England.” So says the Government website. Nice one, Dan, the Brexit championing Tory. But odd that someone so keen to smash unaccountable “elites” should accept a role as one of them.

Democracy is great. But if you’ve got a job for life as an unelected politician overseeing democracy and the country’s laws, it’s so much the better.

Boris Johnson ennobles Hannan. David Cameron did not:

File under: the right sort of elites.

Posted: 22nd, December 2020 | In: Politicians | Comment


Namibia elects Adolph Hitler

Old campaigners and neo-voters will be disappointed to learn that Adolf Hitler has no plans for world domination. Adolf Hitler Uunona, newly elected to represent the Ompundja constituency in the former German colony of Namibia, tells Bild his politics has “nothing to do” with Nazi ideology.

Hard cheese, indeed, on those hearing the news of Adolph Hilter’s victory and thought it the right moment to emerge from their Brazilian hideaways, Austrian bier kellars and, well, Switzerland to march again. (Not that they ever hid – more than half of the leadership of the West German Justice Ministry were former members of the Nazi party, including dozens of former paramilitary SA members.)

Mr Uunona says his father had named him after the Nazi leader, but said “he probably didn’t understand what Adolf Hitler stood for. As a child I saw it as a totally normal name. It wasn’t until I was growing up that I realised: This man wanted to subjugate the whole world. I have nothing to do with any of these things.”

Posted: 4th, December 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


Dr Fauci and the delayed Covid-19 injection that robbed Trump and left people dead

When Dr Anthony Fauci, “the top US infectious disease expert” (BBC), was rolling his eyes and smirking at Donald Tump (easy enough), he was a darling of Twitter. And then he went on Fox News and told everyone that the UK had not checked Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine “as carefully” as US health regulators, who have yet to give their jab their endorsement. He then doubled down, heading over to CBS News to say the UK had “rushed” the approval.

Dr. Anthony Fauci criticized the United Kingdom for rushing through the authorization process for a coronavirus vaccine. He told CBS News that British regulators failed to adequately scrutinize data from drug manufacturers before approving a vaccine…

“They kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile,” Fauci told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett in an interview for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. “They really rushed through that approval.”

Now Fauci says we might have misconstrued his comments. “Our process is one that takes more time than it takes in the UK. And that’s just the reality,” Fauci tells the BBC. “I did not mean to imply any sloppiness even though it came out that way.”

He misspoke? Nonsense, of course. We heard him loud and clear. He painted all the clinicians, doctors, professors and scientists who worked hard to fill the usual white space between each stage of a drugs approval process with hard work, testing and productivity as cheats. And you begin to wonder what role politics plays in Fauci’s to-camera grimaces and opinions. The BBC:

Politics may also explain why the FDA hasn’t yet given the green light. Back in October, President Trump pressured health officials to approve the first vaccine candidates before election day on 3 November but they pushed back, fearing it might become a political football.

The FDA said it wanted to see two months’ extra safety data from the final phase vaccine trials before pharmaceutical companies could apply for emergency approval.

That has inevitably left some arguing the US has got bogged down in a much more detailed review than might have been necessary.

Had Donald Trump been able to hail the vaccine before the US election in which he lost to Joe Biden, he’d have walked it. And wouldn’t faster approval have saved lives?

Posted: 4th, December 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


No deal Brexit promises boost for dogging in Kent

dogging brexit

“There is something deeply British about dogging.” So goes the opinion of a Government cabinet minister, who according to the Sunday Times, also noted, possibly with a sneer: “Do Europeans even do dogging?”

KentOnline offers the promise that a “no-deal Brexit could lead to increased dogging in Kent lay-bys”, a Great British hobby the minister says will be boosted by patriot British lorry drivers looking to alleviate the tedium of waiting in their cabs for paperwork to be sorted by engaging in traditional al fresco sex and voyeurism.

Dogging is now Great British Dogging. Look out for it on the BBC sports channels and a celebrity version on ITV 3.

Posted: 2nd, December 2020 | In: Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


Brexit: WTO is the Deal

Jobs for life are pretty hard to come by – which is presumably why Polly Tonybee is still at the Guardian and not cleaning a Wetherspoons, painting your kitchen or picking fruit. Tuscan villas require upkeep so a column in the Guardian it is. Has to be. Today she’s talking about Brexit:

Ignore the blustering brinkmanship: there will be a deal between Britain and the EU. This week, next week or in the final second before the clock strikes 12, this Brexit-crazed government will sign on the line.

It needs no crystal ball to foresee a deal. Though this government is disgraceful and dishonest, it is not certifiably insane. It will not kill off the car industry, manufacturing, farming, finance and fishing. It will not cut off security and police relations with Europe. Nor will it want a hard border in Ireland, breaking the Good Friday agreement. And nor will it freeze friendship with the new US president, nor leave relations with our nearest neighbours and tradere annot be agreed.s irreparably rancorous.

There is a deal in place already. You don’t have to like it but if you are going to write about Brexit, it would be a good to state that the WTO terms is the deal if a different one cannot be agreed.

Posted: 1st, December 2020 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment


Joe Biden breaks foot on dog and plans to get a cat – get ready for President Kamala Harris

Joe Biden, 78, has fractured his foot after slipping while “playing with a dog”, a German shepherd called Major. He will now wear a boot for several weeks, his doctor said. He’ll most likely hobble to the lectern when he gets sworn in as US President in January.

The talk was of having to wheel Donald Trump out of the White House. Now they’ll be wheeling Joe Biden inside.

The other news that should interest Kamala Harris, Biden’s deputy, is that the White House and also plan to get a cat.

Nurse!

Posted: 30th, November 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Prince William needs a German or Greek passport

Prince William Brexit

A new biopic starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana needs a Prince William – and only actors with British-European passport holders can apply. If you’ve only got a post-Brexit British passport, you cannot audition for the tole. Apparently it’s something to do with the film’s financing.

But it doe make me wonder: does the future King William qualify for a German passport?

Posted: 26th, November 2020 | In: Film, Money, News, Politicians, Royal Family, Strange But True | Comment


Labour looked electable for 19 days – then they let Jeremy Corbyn back in

Two newspaper, both broadsheets, lead with news that Jeremy Corbyn has been reinstated to the Labour Party. Were it not for the news media looking for an easy story – Syria is just one horror consigned to the pile marked ‘too expensive and we might catch Covid-19 reporting on mass murder, sex slave markers and Islamist terror’ – you might not have noticed the old stager being excited from the back benches under a yellow cloud. But now he’s back after 19 days in the wilderness (ok, a North London vegetable patch). And you might have missed that too.

The Guardian makes it all about Corbyn, which will surely please its editors and columnists who campaigned for him to be PM and now want to present themselves as something other than enablers and not-all-the-bothered about Jew hatred in Labour’s ranks. The Telegraph makes it about the current Labour leader, Keir Starmer, which is political useful, of course, for the Tory Party’s in-house journal.

More telling perhaps is to head to social media and hear what people who might be Labour voters and members think:

@twlldun on Twitter provide some images. Whether these people support Labour or even if they are actual suers is not clear. This is what we see:

Making Labour electable one day at a time…

Starmer has issued a statement:

Despite a panel of Labour’s ruling body ending the suspension on Tuesday, Sir Keir has taken the decision to not reinstate the party whip in the Commons.

In a statement, the new leader said: “I have made it my mission to root out anti-Semitism from the Labour Party. I know that I will judged on my actions, not my words.

“The disciplinary process does not have the confidence of the Jewish community. That became clear once again yesterday.”

He added: “Jeremy Corbyn’s actions in response to the EHRC report undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party’s ability to tackle anti-Semitism.

“In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”

Hope prevails… Albeit with a caveat.

Posted: 18th, November 2020 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment


President Senile or President Lunatic – America decides

Can everything you want to know about the US election be summed up in a tabloid headline? The Daily Star achieves no little success with its front page:

President SEnile Biden

President Senile or President Lunatic? Vote now!

Posted: 5th, November 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Voting for Donald Trump is a sign of mental illness – BBC

So whose it going to be: the orange lunk with the hair tsunami or Homer Simpson’s dad frozen in time? Has there even been two more physically conflicted characters contesting the Presidency of the USA? At least whoever paints Joe Biden for any official portraiture won’t have to tell hm to keep his face still. The BBC, as every major new outfit, is pretty much ignoring every other news event – what Covid-19? – and breathlessly reporting on the vote. Good. America is foreign country, whatever they tell you. And most of the coverage can be classed as escapist entertainment.

So who will win? Will it be the orange lunk with the hair tsunami who says whatever comes into his head, likes the sound of it and repeats it (however divisive) or Homer Simpson’s dad frozen in time who thinks his opponent if George Bush? Has there even been two more physically conflicted characters contesting the Presidency of the USA? At least whoever paints Joe Biden for any official portraiture won’t have to tell hm to keep his face still.

The BBC is pretty much ignoring every other news event – what Covid-19? – and breathlessly reporting on the vote. Good. America is a foreign country, whatever they tell you. And much of the coverage can be classed as escapist entertainment.

And as with all good reality TV shows, the BBC has picked a favourite. Clue: it’s not Trump. The BBC’s Miami bureau chief notes that Florida has backed Trump. To her mind doing so is symptomatic of mental illness:

Trump’s appeal with the large Cuban-American population in Miami-Dade county was palpable, judging by the loud and colourful ‘Trump trains’ that have been going through for weeks. The ones for Biden were always smaller.

Latinos for Trump! Why not? No, why?

…the message that Democrats are ‘socialists’ really hit home.

Cubans and Venezuelans, the other large diaspora here, have a kind of PTSD with the S-word, socialism. They both had to flee their countries after socialist governments ran the countries to the ground.

They look to Trump and see freedom. They see State control in Biden. The BBC pathologises that thinking. According to the NHS: “The main treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are psychological therapies and medication.” The BBC’s reporter makes no mention of have taken any medical training – she just think all Trump voters might be ill.

So whose it going to be: the orange lunk with the hair tsunami or Homer Simpson’s dad frozen in time? Has there even been two more physically conflicted characters contesting the Presidency of the USA? At least whoever paints Joe Biden for any official portraiture won’t have to tell hm to keep his face still. The BBC, as every major new outfit, is pretty much ignoring every other news event – what Covid-19? – and breathlessly reporting on the vote. Good. America is foreign country, whatever they tell you. And most of the coverage can be classed as escapist entertainment.

But the Beeb has picked a side. Clue: it’s not Trump. The BBC’s Miami bureau chief notes that Florida has backed Trump. To her mind doing so is symptomatic of mental illness:

Trump’s appeal with the large Cuban-American population in Miami-Dade county was palpable, judging by the loud and colourful ‘Trump trains’ that have been going through for weeks. The ones for Biden were always smaller.

Latinos for Trump! Why not? No, why?

…the message that Democrats are ‘socialists’ really hit home.

Cubans and Venezuelans, the other large diaspora here, have a kind of PTSD with the S-word, socialism. They both had to flee their countries after socialist governments ran the countries to the ground.

They look to Trump and see a free America. They see too much State control in Biden. The BBC pathologises that thinking. According to the NHS: “The main treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are psychological therapies and medication.” The BBC’s reporter makes no mention of have taken any medical training – she just think all Trump voters might be ill.

Posted: 4th, November 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


‘Labour broke the law’ and will now pay for its Jew baiting and anti-semitism

Jews for Jez

The Labour Party is “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” claims The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Labour, there was, says the commission:

Political interference in anti-Semitism complaints
Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints
Harassment


The EHRC:

“The equality body’s analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”

An EHRC spokesman enlarged:

“The blame for this sordid, disgraceful chapter in the Labour Party’s history lies firmly with those who held positions of leadership – those who possessed both power and influence to prevent the growth of anti-Jewish racism, but failed to act.

“Never before in our collective history has the Labour Party so fundamentally strained the ties that have bound the Jewish community to the British Left.”

Over to you Dame Shami…

Posted: 29th, October 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Hilary Clinton says this time she will beat Trump

The New York Times‘ headline is choice: “Hillary Clinton Says It’s Different This Time.” The 2016 Democratic candidate on why she’s so confident that Joe Biden will win.

What is different “this time” is that Donald Trump not trying to beat Hilary Clinton.

Posted: 27th, October 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Silent Night: Scotland prepares for a Digital Christmas

Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch says there is “absolutely no question” of a “normal” Christmas being permitted by the State. Leitch says it’s time for people to “get their digital Christmas ready”. Has the ever been a more awful phrase than “digital Christmas”?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is not shamed by the message and says it’s not right to “tell people what they want to hear to make it easier in the here and now”.

So a digital Christmas it is, then – with Carols:

Dongle Merrily On High

The First Comment

Once In Royal Sim City

O Come (on) All Ye Webcams

Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All?

Shite Christmas

And many more..!

Posted: 22nd, October 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Scotland’s drinkers accept Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid-19 challenge to booze outdoors

Nicola Sturgeon likes things to be short and sharp – and you’d imagine her husband does, too. Scotland’s First Minister (her) says the decree to shut all pubs, bars and restaurants in central Scotland from 6pm this Friday until October 25 is “intended to be short, sharp action to arrest a worrying increase in infection”. This lock out will stop the rise in coronavirus cases.

In other bits of Scotland, licensed premises can serve alcohol outdoors. The people of Scotland accept the challenge:

Brave heart (freezing cold arse).

Posted: 8th, October 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Munira Mirza or Dame Shami? Pick your prejudice

Dame Shami of Whitewash

In a story on Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, the Guardian cites the appointment of Munira Mirza to lead a Government commission on racial equality as a bad thing. We read:

Given that the party appointed a woman who does not believe in structural racism to the government commission on racial inequalities, the Tories’ investigation into their issues with race and Islam is unlikely to be a rigorous affair.

Why does she need to believe in structural racism to investigate if structural racism exists? Do you only get a job as an investigator if you know the outcome of the investigation before it begins?

To consider it another way: how did Sharmishta “Shami” Chakrabarti, lead a 2016 Labour Party investigation into anti-Semitism in Labour and find it to be “not overrun by anti-Semitism”. At the suggestion of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a man at the centre of the anti-Semitism in Labour furore, Shami soon became a Dame. Labour, under new leader Keir Starmer, admitted in 2020: “Antisemitism has been a stain on our party. I have seen the grief that it’s brought to so many Jewish communities. On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry. I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”

Posted: 8th, October 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Boris Johnson says wind power CAN blow the skin off a rice pudding

Boris Johnson, the man who wanted to build a bridge between the UK and Ireland and land passenger jets on a raft sat on the River Thames, says the UK will lead the world in wind power. Says the Prime Minister:

“Some people used to sneer at wind power… and say it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding,” says Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson wind power

Those sneering idiots:

Such are the facts.

Spotter; Adam Bienkov

Posted: 6th, October 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


BBC News broadcasts Boris Johnson and other British tits

The chef was on the BBC News show to talk bout Covid-19 and the Government’s ham-fisted, half-arsed attempts to contain it and let us get on with our lives. Behind him a chart of “British Tits” – Great Tits, Blue Tits, Boris Johnson and more…

Spotter: Mike Harris

Posted: 30th, September 2020 | In: Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Covid-19 curfew and lockdown: Government Vultures are controlling our lives

The Government is controlling things it should be controlling. Why is your loved one’s funeral, a wedding or birthday party any of their business? Are you forming the opinion that the only business thriving in the Covid-19 pandemic – well, aside from online supermarkets, Netflix and makers of hand disinfectant – is Government?

New rules are that: pubs and restaurants close at 10pm. Dally at your table – it’s table service only – after the 10pm lockout and Covid Cops will issue fines. Bar staff, non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters must wear a mask or else pay a £200 fine. Weddings will include no more than 15 people, including the happy couple (yeah, 13 guests for the feast – what can go wrong?) Up to 30 of you can hook up at funeral – but only if you remain in groups of six. This is part of the so-called ‘Rule of 6’, an arbitrary rule that says that when seeing friends and family you do not live with you should meet in groups of 6 or less.

Look out for VULTURE APP, a service that alerts the bored and isolated to funerals with spare capacity.

And what of your chances of dying from Covid? Well, the Office for National Statistics notes:

The coronavirus (COVID-19) did not feature in the top ten leading causes of death in August 2020, in England or Wales. In England, COVID-19 was the 24th most common cause of death and in Wales it was the 19th most common cause of death, for deaths registered in August 2020.

Should we focus on something else? No say all the politicians of every stripe. The London Mayor wants more curfews, social distancing and mask wearing. In Scotland you cannot visit anyone in another home. Leading politicians are outdoing each other in a bid to exert more control. But…:

The leading cause of death in August 2020 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England (accounting for 10.9% of all deaths) and ischaemic heart disease in Wales (11.0% of all deaths); both leading causes of death were the same in July 2020.

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (“develops, promotes and disseminates better evidence for healthcare”), tells us:

While we found that roughly one in thirteen (7.8%) deaths with COVID-19 on the death certificate did not have the disease as the underlying cause of death, this proportion has risen substantially to 29% (nearly a third) for the last eight weeks of reporting.

Is our Government panicking? And why are we so supine in the face of rules and laws that need to be challenged and held up to scrutiny?

Posted: 22nd, September 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Operation Moonshot: Matt Hancock is wrong about his own Covid-19 tests

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is talking rubbish when he says it’s “inappropriate” for people in England to seek a free Government Covid-19 tests when they don’t have any symptoms. The online system for getting tested has crashed. UK labs have reached capacity, meaning people are unable to book tests or being sent a long way from their home to get one.

In his ham-fisted attempt to blame to the very people seeking to do the right thing and get tested, Hancock cited the example of a school year group that all went for tests. It was “not appropriate” said Hancock. Also wrong are people who want a test before going on holiday, says Hancock.

Inappropriate is not a rule. It’s a judgement made by a man who can see his system failing and knows we can see it, too.

A few hours later, the British Journal of Medicine reported:

The UK government has drawn up plans to carry out up to 10 million covid-19 tests a day by early next year as part of a huge £100bn (€110bn; $130bn) expansion of its national testing programme, documents seen by The BMJ show.

The internal correspondence reveals that the government is prepared to almost match what it spends on the NHS in England each year (£130bn) to fund mass testing of the population “to support economic activity and a return to normal life” under its ambitious Operation Moonshot programme.

A briefing memo sent to the first minister and cabinet secretaries in Scotland, seen by The BMJ, says that the UK-wide Moonshot programme is expected to “cost over £100bn to deliver.” If achieved, the programme would allow testing of the entire UK population each week.

A separate PowerPoint presentation prepared for the government by the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, also seen by The BMJ, says the plans had the potential to grow the UK’s testing capacity from the current 350 000 a day to up to 10 million tests a day by early 2021.

Operation Moonshot, indeed. What planet are Hancock and Johnson from and how did they reach this one?

Covid tests

The BBC then makes a half statement of fact:

The free tests are available to people with symptoms of coronavirus – a fever, new and continuous cough or a loss or change in sense of taste or smell.

Right. But that’s not all. Free tests are also available for people with no symptoms. As the Government site says:

Covid test rules

But Hancock says:

…in the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in demand, including an increase in demand for people who are not eligible for tests, and people who don’t have symptoms.”

You don’t need to have symptoms to be eligible for tests. He needs to read this own Government’s website. But still be blathers on:

“We have seen an increase of about 25% of people who are coming forward that don’t have symptoms and aren’t eligible. They don’t have a reason for it. I’ve even heard stories of people saying, ‘I’m going on holiday next week, therefore I’m going to get a test’. No – that is not what the testing system is there for. We’ve got to be firmer, I’m afraid, with the rules around eligibility for testing.”

You want a test to get on with your life but Hancock says you can’t have one because it is inappropriate. It isn’t. It’s spot on. The fault lies entirely with the Government’s lack of preparation.

Posted: 10th, September 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


John DeBerry Jr. is right: from Kanosha to Portland Washington, America needs guts not violent segregation

Kenosha has been burnt and looted by what the Times calls “Black Lives Matter riots” – “parts of the city looking more like Syria than Wisconsin.” Anger and violence spread after Jacob Blake, an unarmed father of six with warrants for his arrest, was shot in the back seven times by a policeman as he opened his car door. Police say they found a knife in his car. But not on him. Jacob Blake is now paralysed and struggling to live. Police thought it fit to handcuff him to the hospital bed. The shooting of John Blake looks murderous. And in the streets, there’s trouble.

The Times quotes one local: “When you wrap yourself in that flag of BLM and you burn cities to the ground, people will remember. There’s a quiet majority out there.” Another adds: “It’s right that people are out here protesting. But the people burning shit? Nah. That’s all out-of-towners… It’s a mistake, because they make it about the destruction, not the message. Why would we burn our own shit down? The only store where you can get hair products for black folk, it’s burnt up. Why would we do that to ourselves?”

One voice on the HuffPo counters: “…rioting and looting are effective at growing a movement and making an issue come to the forefront. And these riots are destroying what last shreds of credibility President Trump had left, that and his terrible mishandling of the coronavirus, of course.” Adding: “That all of those people came into the streets because of rioting and looting, they participated in rioting and looting – that is the movement. And to say that it distracts from the movement or it’s what the state wants, I think reflects at best a really intense confusion, and at worst an innately anti-Black and anti-liberatory perspective.”

Winning heart and minds in Washington DC. The dignity of Blake’s family is in stark contrast to the childish demands of some protestors

Add to the mayhem Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old heavily armed vigilante. The teenager described in many bulletins as a ‘fan of the police’ is accused of murdering two unarmed men and shooting another. One of the men killed courageously attacked Rittenhouse with a skateboard. You can look at the alleged perpetrator and wonder why anyone sane thinks driving 15 miles to walk around the streets with a huge gun slung over your shoulder is a good idea. Or you look at the victim and shape the narrative to fit an agenda:

The Guardian notes that Rittenhouse has been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by someone under the age of 18. And then we get two facts which appear at odds with each other:

  1. “Under Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse, who is 17, was too young to legally posses the rifle he was alleged to have been carrying as he confronted protesters.”
  2. “Under Wisconsin law, anyone 17 or older is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.”

One thing to note: Kyle Rittenhouse and his alleged victims are all white. Is that important? The epithet white is usually used to denigrate. Isn’t it time to stand as individuals?

John DeBerry, Democratic member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, wants people with “enough guts, enough integrity, enough citizenship and love of country” to stop focusing on race:

He’s right.

Posted: 30th, August 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Tump for Coronavirus and ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’

How Journalism Works, courtesy of the Washington Post.

On August 28, 2020 at 4:37 a.m., the WaPo noticed a “crowded White House” for Donald Trump’s latest address. The crowd was “largely devoid” of Covid-19 precautions – “few masks, little distancing.”

President Trump celebrated his renomination Thursday with a crowded party at the White House that offered a jarring contrast with a nation that is still widely shut down over fears of the coronavirus pandemic whose spread remains uncontrolled.

On August 28, 2020 at 5:26 p.m the WaPo spotted another crowd at the ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ march for racial equality:

If the topic is Covid-19, then one crowd looks very much like another crowd, right? The story on the march begins in a different tone to the one on Trump:

Thousands of protesters gathered Friday at the Lincoln Memorial to call for criminal justice reform and racial equality while honoring the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” address from the same location.

Planning began in June after the funeral of George Floyd. Organizers say they want to highlight the civil rights issues of today and bring well-known speakers to address the crowd while also mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus with strict safety protocols.

It’s not until paragraph 31 in the paper’s live blog, readers learn:

In some cases, there was little social distancing as the crowds moved closer to the Lincoln Memorial and the calls for justice boomed louder from the speakers. Most participants, however, did wear masks.

“Some cases” and “most” Or “few and “largely”? Pick your news. Fed your prejudice.

Posted: 28th, August 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Time to end the cult of leader: Trump or Biden – both are just functionaries

TRUMP tattoo

The British electorate saw off the Corbyn cult. The believers’ chanting, the flag waving and the destruction of naysayers that surrounded Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to lead Labour Party into Government was about the man not the garbled message. One writer has a dream:

Here’s the most important “issue” to me: I want to make the US into a country where people don’t care who is president, a place like Switzerland. The more people care who is president (as in Venezuela) the worse off the country is.

We vote for the system, not the leader – right?

Posted: 28th, August 2020 | In: Politicians | Comment


Boris and the Bookshelves – books have been reduced to props

Boris Johnson books Michael Gove

Did you see the books arranged behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Castle Rock school in Coalville, Leicestershire. Was the school librarian making a point in their choice of books to backdrop Boris? Titles on the top shelf included: Betrayed, The Resistance, The Subtle Knife, Fahrenheit 451, The Toll, Oliver Twist and Terry Pratchett’s genius Guards! Guards! What could it all mean asked the assembled hacks. “No comment,” said the school, which is, of course, a comment.

“Books seen behind Boris Johnson tell their own story,” says the Guardian headline. “Has a savvy school librarian or English teacher snatched a golden opportunity to have a pop at the PM in front of the nation?” asks a reporter from the TES. “Are the books behind Boris artfully arranged with a secret political agenda and commentary on the current government?” mused the Indy.

What you might not also have noticed is the PM’s words on the exams results fiasco. “I’m afraid your grades were almost derailed by a mutant algorithm,” guffed Boris. “I know how stressful that must have been for pupils up and down the country. I’m very, very glad that it has finally been sorted out.”

That mutant algorithm was coded by human beings. Sally Collier, the head of England’s exams regulator Ofqual has resigned. Jonathan Slater, the most senior civil servant in the Department for Education (DfE), is ‘stepping down’. But Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, aka The Mutant, remains. Look for codes and symbols of defiance by all means, but in so doing try not to miss the obvious. Nearly 800 libraries have closed since 2010. Johnson holidayed amid the exam disaster-class, popping up to tell us that he was reading Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things.

Johnson, that school librarian and political pundits dialling in opinions from seats positioned in front of their bookshelves – watching on for signs of wrong-thinking by their peers and enemies – all assure us that books matter. But schoolchildren suffer through the lack of books and formal education. The local library has gone and there’s no longer a free space to sit, read the think. Books have been reduced to props. And that is telling.

Posted: 27th, August 2020 | In: Books, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment