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Friday, 25 July 2014

Dumb, Dumber And Dumbest

Bonita Springs, Florida may have seen the stupidest thieves of all time, and that's going some. The three thieves decided that the way not to get caught was adopt a disguise that may never have been used before?

On Sunday 20th July 2014, they broke into Doc's Beach House in Bonita Beach, Southwest Florida USA where they took ....just 60 hamburgers (no cash kept on premises after a real theft some years earlier). They then made their getaway, leaving only a trail of red peppers on the beach. Who knows, that might have been all there was to it .... a broken door, 60 missing hamburgers, and trail of red peppers (not red herrings) on a beach.

However this crime raised itself to a new level of ridiculousness because:

  1. Firstly, the security cameras were on, and they wore no masks, and 
  2. Secondly, they also wore nothing else .... well two had not a stitch on, and the other had just his skid marks (underwear).

Dumb, Dumber And Dumbest

The waitress who first saw the security film, branded them as "dumb, dumber and dumbest," and as it was shown on 'Wink News' TV, who can argue with that?

Aping The Capeman

In July 2014, reports from Moscow Russia stated that in a Moscow bank, a man walked in dressed as Batman the caped crusader, and after walking up to the counter, he then tried to rob the bank by demanding the staff give him money. But as Robin might have said, 'Holy Humiliation Batman' ... the staff just started laughing at him. The more he demanded, the more they laughed, and despite a couple of half hearted attempts to give him some money, they just kept stitching up in fresh gales of laughter.

After a few minutes of this, the caped bandit gave up, and beat a hasty retreat out on to the mean Moscow streets ..... police are still hunting for the Bat Cave, where he's believed to be holed up, nursing his bruised pride.

Now this story tweaked a memory, and sure enough, this was not the first burgling Batman I had come across .... in June 2013, at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, there was a robbery of the Fair's VIP building early on a Thursday morning, by three teens, where one of the youths was dressed up in a Batman onesie.

As usual with these stories, the idiots in the suits, did not match the heroes they were aping ... the trio of thieves took some televisions, a laptop and an empty cash register .... and then to cap a dumb evening, the suspects managed to lock themselves in to the building, and had to 'break out'.
 
Batman Later Wished He Had Kept The Mask On

The local paper, the Pueblo Chieftain, reported that the 'Batman' youth, had also neglected to wear a mask inside the building, where security cameras caught his likeness, and KRDO-TV, the local TV company had broadcast the robbery film on the news that evening.

How The Story Was Reported In Pueblo Colorado

Batman (who wasn't named because of his age), gave himself up to the police, and faced charges including burglary and criminal mischief .... but Batman isn't a stoolie, and police were still seeking the other two suspects.

Hands That Do Washing

There is a strange kind of regime resistance going on in Iran - while the manual working class, and the badly educated, welcomed and still mostly support the regime of the Mullahs (a similar phenomena occurs in Turkey with the ruling political party), the upper class and educated middle-classes never really took to the rule of the mosque with quite so much enthusiasm.

Recently, these educated under 30's - the children of those parents so cowed by the violence of the new regime when the Shah fell - have increasingly shown sparks of resentment. There were all those 'liberal' green marches of a couple of years ago, that were crushed with considerable force, but since then, there have been flickers of the embers, that suggest that the regime may not last forever.

The prompter of this is largely social media, Facebook, Twitter et al, something that not everyone, including me, fully realises has very great power amongst in the under 35's, and in the third world in particular. It allows comments, events, art or films to 'go viral' and create great tension in repressive regimes. There have been a string of these rather innocuous looking 'viral' trends in Iran recently .... the 'be happy video', the 'bared head' videos, and the 'washing-up liquid bottle' are merely the three latest in the list.

The 'washing-up liquid bottle' picture, is merely a woman holding a world cup type bottle of aloft with soapy bare arms .... it was painted on a wall in June 2014 by 'Black Hand' who or are sometimes referred to as "Iran's 'Banksy'" (they may be a collective group, or one individual, no one knows). The image has since been captured and shared thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram .... and although its been defaced (again by person or persons unknown), it now lives in the virtual world, where it continues to circulate and resonate amongst Iran's younger educated classes.

Chained To Kitchen Sink - Iranian Style

The painted wall art seemed to show that in theocratic Iran, women are are only fit to do household chores ... chained to the kitchen sink so to speak, but aspire to so much more.

The reason this particular image has struck a chord with many Iranians, appears to be because the authorities have extended the already harsh bans on women attending football matches, to include volleyball games, of which there is a World League competing in Iran, but in point of fact, women can't attend any sports events competed for by male athletes (or where men are in the crowd, unless segregated). As the football World Cup in Brazil included the Iranian team, and which women could watch on TV (along with their friends or families), it merely emphasised how "very cruel, it's unbelievably cruel" as one woman put it, these bans are.

Harsh regimes like that in Iran, really don't know how to challenge this kind of 'subversion' ... I mean what does it mean? Why is it illegal? If they ban social media, it makes them look even more repressive than they already are (a feat in itself), and in any case is largely futile in a globalised world, where such bans can be bypassed. But futile or not, these regimes do not seem to moderate with time, and so each petty restriction just ratchets up the social pressure cookers, that always seem to lie just beneath the surface in these societies.

Who knows what the trigger event may be that starts the next upheaval in the region - in one country, a man setting himself on fire was enough to kick off violent attempted regime changes, and then later counter attacks by the regimes (notably Egypt and Syria), across North Africa and into the Middle East .... is Iran so secure?

One Justice or No Justice

Regional News 23rd July:

A five-year-old boy has been left with a broken leg after a hit-and-run in Blackburn.
Lancashire Police said the boy was hit in Whitwell Place at 20:00 BST on Wednesday. He was kept in the Royal Blackburn Hospital overnight. The driver is described as an "Asian woman wearing a burkha", who was in a silver car. Police from the road policing unit, appealed for witnesses and the driver to come forward.


OK where do I start with this story ....

  • What could a new witness describe ... an "Asian woman wearing a burkha"? They already got that, so only a number plate would help.
  • How could an identification parade work? All women in a burkha look identical ... not even their children know by sight. (Its one of the spurious reasons that some Saudi's put forward against women driving in that country ... can't ID the driver. )
  • For less serious offences - no one would ever be able to identify the driver of a car from police cameras etc, even if the number plates were seen. You can only detain on reasonable suspicion, but not prosecute.

As an example of this last point, I recently saw a UK police 'reality' show from the Midlands, where 3 Asian youths had been caught speeding around an estate in a car with no documents etc, but all denied being the driver. One of them had the car keys in his pocket which the police confiscated ... he said he had been looking after them 'for the driver' who had 'run off' when the police caught the car.

The police were made to look stupid by three 17 yr olds, who even got cocky without being arrested ... one of them telling the police officer that 'you look like your educated, yeah?', because despite the obvious lying, the Crown Prosecution Service are too inept to be able to prosecute this sort of case (the solution is to prosecute them all, like they do in gang murders). Insult was added to injury, when as the police impounded the car to be crushed (there being 'no owner' ... and it wasn't insured or taxed), the man who had been 'looking after the keys' demanded that they give him back his house keys, which had somehow attached themselves to the 'drivers' car keys, in the few seconds that the police took to stop them (and in which Einsteinian time, the driver had also managed to 'run off' unseen be anyone).

One Justice or No Justice?

While we continue to pussyfoot around Asians and other groups like this (because they may be offended by anything we do, or even by our laws), and don't apply laws equally to them, as well as the rest of us, then the anger amongst those of us who are not allowed to get away with this nonsense, just grows.

We either have the same laws for all, applied equally for all, or no laws, and let us sort out issues by the mob - something many immigrant groups would find to be 'just like justice back home'.            

Friday, 18 July 2014

A Viking Funeral

When I was a kid, I saw Kirk Douglas in "The Vikings" ..... great music, and a larger than life performance by Douglas as the eponymous 'Viking', 'Einar'.  But the bit that struck me most at the time (and even now) was his death. Sword on hand he stretched arms to the sky and shouted "ODIN!". He was then given a full pagan Viking funeral ....

The Ship With The Vikings Body Sails Out, With Fire Arrows Landing Aboard
The Ship Then Sailed Towards The Sunset, Taking His Soul To Valhalla

I was reminded of this, when recently I saw a newspaper report of a little boys funeral, in which local Star Wars re-enactors, accompanied his hearse to the cemetery.

Storm Troopers Accompany A Little Boys Coffin.

I salute his parents, for giving him the modern equivalent of the Viking Funeral .... may his soul reach whatever Valhalla he believed, in a galaxy, far, far away.

Weegie Week

A few years ago I was contracting in the Fylde coast region, and naturally took Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Blackpool during the week. At the time, Blackpool still had more visitors per anuum than Greece & the Greek Islands, and with around 120,000 holiday beds, it had more beds than the whole of Portugal. ... it sounds astounding, but apparently was true. Sadly it doesn't have the weather of Greece or Portugal, but that's another tale ....

This led me to become very familiar with the town and the area, and to the phenomena known locally as Scots Week .... a period of the year (not actually restricted to just one week, but just more noticeable in the week when Glasgow's school holidays precede England's by a week), when large numbers of Scottish people descend on Blackpool for their holidays.

This annual migration, or perhaps pilgrimage is the better term, has been going on since late Victorian times, when "Glasgow Fair Fortnight" (a week's holiday, which was later extended to a fortnight), saw factories and shipyards shut all over Glasgow at the end of July, allowing 'unpaid' holidays for which many joined 'holiday saving clubs', initially to pay for an unpaid week off work, and which was easily converted to a week away on the new 'railways'.

So whilst they don't now come in the numbers of the mid last century, when the large industrial industries associated with the holiday began to shut down, its still a large enough group to leave its mark on the town and indeed the region.

So what its like? .... well I wouldn't describe it as 'lock up your daughters' time, but sometimes the taxi drivers describe the area between Central Pier and South Shore, as 'bandit country' when this 'week' is at its peak in July. Other Scottish visitors to Blackpool from eastern Scotland (aka Edinburgh) describe it as 'Weegie Week' ('Weegies' being the name they give to Glaswegians) ..... not much love their sometimes, and historically Scots from the east have gone to Scarborough.

An Early Start To The Bevvies, Allows You To Catch Some Rays!

The other impacts that I recall is that at 10:00 am on a Saturday morning, there were often chairs outside the B&B's, with sunburnt gentlemen drinking cans of 'Special Brew' and talking in a language which may as well have been Urdu for all the comprehensibility to the rest of us, but which I was assured was a form of English.

Everyone in the area apparently knew when it was the start of the Scottish holidays, because the pub cash registers started filling up with Scottish bank notes, and the fact that after someone in Glasgow got access to a top-end photo-copier, all £50 notes became useless as currency in the area, and shortly afterwards you could only change Scottish bank notes in banks, and even then with much suspicious looks and checking by the tellers.

On a more serious note, the whole town actually has a 'Scottish' sub theme to it, with hundreds of hotels and B&B's called names like the 'Briardene', Strathdene', 'Airedale House Hotel', 'Gleneagles', 'The Osprey Hotel', 'Glendowie Hotel', 'Glenbarrie Hotel', and even the '100 Pipers Hotel'. I am barely scratching the surface here, as there are many more on similar themes, and as this might indicate, a lot of Scots live in the area now.

The local council milks this historic connection, and even targets the Scottish market with a "Blackpool's Back" campaign, that feature adverts made specifically for Scottish TV, and timed to coincide with the Scottish school holidays.

Of course not everyone is as enamoured of Blackpool as the West Coast Scots are, and its a fact that its a rather scruffy provincial place, seemingly full of junkies and petty ex-cons for much of the time (as anecdotally many northern prisons, advise newly released prisoners, to go to Blackpool to find cheap accommodation in the B&B's that can't get any tourist trade), this despite the efforts of the local authorities to clean up the town, both physically and morally.

How Blackpool Looks To Many Visitors ....

Many would agree with author Bill Brysons description of the town, from his book  "Notes from a small Island", of which this is but a brief, but relevant extract:

...... Thus it was, fourteen hours after setting off from Porthmadog that morning, that I arrived tired, dishevelled, hungry and full of woe, in Blackpool, a place that I didn't particularly want to be in anyway. 


CHAPTER TWENTYTWO 

  BLACKPOOL AND I DON'T CARE HOW MANY TIMES YOU HEAR THIS, IT never stops being amazing attracts more visitors every year than Greece and has more holiday beds than the whole of Portugal. It consumes more chips per capita than anywhere else on the planet. (It gets through forty acres of potatoes a day.) It has the largest concentration of roller-coasters in Europe. It has the continent's second most popular tourist attraction, the fortytwo acre Pleasure Beach, whose 6.5 million annual visitors are exceeded in number only by those going to the Vatican. It has the most famous illuminations. And on Friday and Saturday nights it has more public toilets than anywhere else in Britain; elsewhere they call them doorways.

Whatever you may think of the place, it does what it does very well or if not very well at least very successfully. In the past twenty years, during a period in which the number of Britons taking traditional seaside holidays has declined by a fifth, Blackpool has increased its visitor numbers by 7 per cent and built tourism into a .250millionayear industry no small achievement when you consider the British climate, the fact that Blackpool is ugly, dirty and a long way from anywhere, that its sea is an open toilet, and its attractions nearly all cheap, provincial and dire.

It was the illuminations that had brought me there. I had been hearing and reading about them for so long that I was genuinely keen to see them. So, after securing a room in a modest guest-house on a back street, I hastened to the front in a sense of some expectation. Well, all I can say is that Blackpool's illuminations are nothing if not splendid, and they are not splendid. There is, of course, always a danger of disappointment when you finally encounter something you have wanted to see for a long time, but in terms of let down it would be hard to exceed Blackpool's light show. I thought there would be lasers sweeping the sky, strobe lights tattooing the clouds and other gaspmaking dazzlements. Instead there was just a rumbling procession of old trams decorated as rocket ships or Christmas crackers, and several miles of paltry decorations on lampposts. I suppose if you had never seen electricity in action, it would be pretty breathtaking, but I'm not even sure of that. It all just seemed tacky and inadequate on rather a grand scale, like Blackpool itself.

What was no less amazing than the meagreness of the illuminations were the crowds of people who had come to witness the spectacle. Traffic along the front was bumper to bumper, with childish faces pressed to the windows of every creeping car, and there were masses of people ambling happily along the spacious promenade. At frequent intervals hawkers sold luminous necklaces and bracelets or other short-lived diversions, and were doing a roaring trade. I read somewhere once that half of all visitors to Blackpool have been there at least ten times. 


Goodness knows what they find in the place. I walked for a mile or so along the prom, and couldn't understand the appeal of it and I, as you may have realized by now, am an enthusiast for tat. Perhaps I was just weary after my long journey from Porthmadog, but I couldn't wake up any enthusiasm for it at all. I wandered through brightly lit arcades and peered in bingo halls, but the festive atmosphere that seemed to seize everyone failed to rub off on me. Eventually, feeling very tired and very foreign, I retired to a fish restaurant on a side street, where I had a plate of haddock, chips and peas, and was looked at like I was some kind of southern pansy when I asked for tartare sauce, and afterwards took yet another early night.

In the morning, I got up early to give Blackpool another chance. I liked it considerably better by daylight. The promenade had some nice bits of cast iron and elaborate huts with onion domes selling rock, nougat and other sticky things, which had escaped me in the darkness the night before, and the beach was vast and empty and very agreeable. Blackpool's beach is seven miles long and the curious thing about it is that it doesn't officially exist. I am not making this up. In the late 1980s, when the European Community issued a directive about minimum standards of ocean borne sewage, it turned out that nearly every British seaside town failed to come anywhere near even the minimum levels. 


Most of the bigger places like Blackpool went right off the edge of the turdometer, or whatever it is they measure these things with. This presented an obvious problem to the Government, which was loath to spend money on British beaches when there were perfectly good beaches for rich people in Mustique and Barbados, so it drew up a policy under which it officially decreed this is so bizarre I can hardly stand it, but I swear it is true that Brighton, Blackpool, Scarborough and many other leading resorts did not have, strictly speaking, bathing beaches. Christ knows what they then termed these expanses of sand intermediate sewage buffers, I suppose but in any case it disposed of the problem without either solving it or costing the Exchequer a penny, which is, of course, the main thing, or in the case of the present Government, the only thing.

But enough of political satire! Let us away in haste to Morecambe. I went there next, on a series of rattling Sprinters, partly to make poignant comparisons with Blackpool, but mostly because I like Morecambe. I'm not at all sure why, but I do .....
tallies in many regards to both my own, and others view of the town.

But its important to point out that many millions of repeat visitors don't agree with this description ..... Also, it should be noted that the town was actually trying to tackle many of its issues, the lack of development, the shabbiness, the old fashioned 'lights', in fact the whole kit and caboodle.

But their plan for a private fund regeneration was royally shafted by the then governing Labour Party, when a local parliamentary bill, to allow a Super 'Las Vegas' style casino to be built by the town (with a promised £300 - £500 million windfall in related private investment), was first hijacked by a 'casino everywhere' regeneration plan, and then Blackpool, the originator of the idea was actually dropped from the scheme in favour of Leeds, and then finally, Gordon Brown ditched the whole scheme anyway, leaving Blackpool high and dry, and losing all its private investment funds from the US.

About as dirty a piece of politics, as that rather nasty little government managed in its undistinguished time in office, and one that has left a legacy not just nationally, with the debt crisis, but also regionally, on a small town, in the north west of a small island.

Even Not Believing Is A Crime

One of the many issues Islam has with the rest of the world at the moment is its basic insecurity ..... by that I mean that any belief system that has to condemn to death anyone who tries to leave it, or anyone who believes there are different ways to practise the same faith, has some really big self belief problems. For instance, all these 'British' Muslims who go over to Syria, to 'do Jihad' and 'fight Allah's enemies', apparently do not find it in anyway strange, that all those enemies of Allah that they are killing, are also 'Muslims', who also claim that they are fighting the enemies of Allah.

I guess nutters just don't do irony .....

This Badly Written Missive, is a Testament to Multiculturalism and a UK Education.

But perhaps a good example of this insecurity, and I don't mean its treatment of those  converting to another faith .... that's death, no discussion, just death for the convert (and probably for their still Muslim family as well), is its treatment of those who profess non-belief in Allah, just saying that they are an atheist .... in some places this is possibly a death sentence as well, but where there is a semblance of secular governance (such as Non Boko Haram, Nigeria),  a protestation of atheism leaves the 'liberal' (or constrained) Imam bemused.

So what do they do?

Well telling them to go on their way, and agreeing to disagree isn't an option .... so in Nigeria, the man is detained in a hospital psychiatric ward as obviously mentally ill, for not believing in Allah anymore. One such victim is Mubarak Bala, a chemical engineering graduate, but also the son of an Islamic leader (which is probably why he wasn't killed), who was detained against his will for 18 days, only being freed by accident,  when a doctors' strike saw many patients discharged, simply because they couldn't be looked after.

He has now demanded that another doctor evaluate him, and then to put it on the record that he was not suffering from a mental illness as the hospital had stated. He would probably be better off leaving the north of Nigeria after death threats, but he has apparently decided to resume living with his family in a spirit of reconciliation ..... Good Luck with that mate!

One is reminded of the Soviet and Maoist mental hospitals, where political opponents were deposited and usually declared insane, after being given harsh drug treatments to 'cure them' of the belief that Soviet Communism was wrong .....

Where Being Happy Is A Crime

When the citizens of Iran decided to overthrow the Shah's government, they presumably did so in the expectation of happier times ahead. Well roll on thirty five years, and we now know that as well as gaining a corrupt clergy (who are very happy), we now understand that in Iran, happiness is circumscribed by what the religion and the regime say is allowable. Get it wrong and the punishments can range from a warning from the 'religious police' to imprisonment or even worse .... the death penalty.

All for trying to enjoy your life in a manner that hurts no one. But then what hope have you, in a land where there is even a crime of 'offending public chastity' ... the latest to fall foul of this are a group of male and female students (or maybe wanna be actors and actresses ... their story has altered as the events have unfolded), made a video for 'YouTube', in which they were 'Happy we are from Tehran'. Apparently this involved dancing to the song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams. A song which has seemingly enjoyed global success amongst the young and which even I have just about heard (I am getting old!), and to which people around the globe have made video tributes too.

 This Video Is A Crime In The Islamic Republic Of Iran

The Tehran video was a big hit amongst this tribute fraternity and especially amongst the young educated Iranian community in Iran and the Diaspora .... this brought it to the attention of the religious rulers, who declared that all participants should be arrested for 'offending public chastity' because the girls were unveiled in public. There is also a suspicion that dancing also offended the regime, although there isn't a law against it .... yet.

The usual attempts to put a brave face to the world on this outrage, included the ineffectual President (Power resides with the clerics) tweeting  "#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviours caused by joy." .... the social media users have also tweeted #freehappyiranians of course this had made no difference and they have been paraded in front of TV and the media.

Of course Iran isn't the only such regime ... most Arab or Muslim countries have similar sentiments towards women and dancing (except where its young boys 'chai boys' dancing for rooms of men, in which case its accepted), but its not wholly restricted to that religion or region. North Korea is probably as bad as place to be 'happy', if not worse in many respects, and there are other states where it could be difficult .... Tibet under Chinese occupation must be a soul destroying place for Tibetans.

What a fearful fate it must be, to live in any land where happiness is tantamount to being a crime ... final words to the sentiments on the video.

"Happy was an excuse to be happy. We enjoyed every second of making it. Hope it puts a smile on your face."

Friday, 11 July 2014

Brazil Nuts

Apart from the Subbuteo world cup dioramas there was of course one other major story ..... so epic indeed that it sent shock-waves around the world, well the football world.

It was of course the utter annihilation of the Brazil football team beneath the juggernaut of 'Die Mannschaft' of the united Germany. The shock-waves of the totality of the defeat, 7 - 1 at home, will no doubt ripple down the next few years, but I am not primarily interested in that, nor the myriad of records that were broken on the night.

No, I was interested in any of that, but the fact that I unexpectedly felt a large degree of Schadenfreude as the goals piled in .... I didn't know that I cared LOL. But the part of this story that really tickled my funny bone was the Internet Memes that swept across globe on social media on the night. I have collected a few, and re-publish them for posterity, and those like me, who are largely oblivious of Tweets and Facebook etc.




 



No commentary for these is required ....... the whole night in seven pictures.  

No Brainiacs These Two

I won't even pretend that I was going to resist this story .... I have a long 'previous' on Superhero stories.

So here we are with the tale of not one, but two Superman's .... but Brainiacs they are not.   

No Brainiacs these Supermen

Now as they had no car insurance (an offence in the UK), you might think that they would try to be inconspicuous but no, they decided to take the rear window out of their car, and replace it with a red cape as they cruised the M42 motorway. Needless to say, it wasn't long before the forces of steel, aka the West Midlands police force made them pull over and arrested them.

With social media being what it is, once the traffic police tweeted the picture above, with the commentary 'We don't work for Lex Luthor but we had to remove Superman's wheels from the road', it prompted comment from across the world. 

One was from the Oklahoma Sheriffs Department in the US who tweeted back 'Nice work! Not even Superman has a chance against police Kryptonite'  .... this elicited a response from the UK traffic police who promised that 'We'll send Superman back to you'

Zwarte Piet Is Blauw Piet

Zwarte Piet is the black companion of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch) in the folklore of the Low Countries .... although it has to be said that he is a comparatively new 'folklore', the character being created in the 1850 book 'Sint Nikolaas en zijn Knecht ("Saint Nicholas and his Servant")', by Jan Schenkman. Still folklore is folklore, and so for over 100 years the character helped St Nick judge whether little boys and girls were deserving of Christmas presents.

He does this by listening at chimney pots for children's behaviour, which is possibly a throw back to earlier times when Wodan's Wild Hunt rode forth, and his two black ravens listened at smoke holes, to tell Wodan about the good and bad behaviour of the mortals.

Although similar to other such companions of Saint Nicholas in Belgium, Hungary, France, Germany, and Wallonia, the difference, is why all the fuss is being generated .... in Holland the actors put on blackface make-up and colourful Renaissance attire, in addition to curly wigs, red lipstick and earrings.
 
Sint Nikolaas en zijn Knecht


Needless to say, this has led to the PC brigade attacking the character even though
according to a 2013 survey, 92% of the Dutch public don't perceive Zwarte Piet as racist, or associate him with slavery, and 91% are opposed to altering the character's appearance ..... but then the PC brigade are not actually democrats are they?

So here we are with an anti racist group led court action pending, and sadly, the usual weaker groups who, despite the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a long time defender of the Zwarte Piet tradition, stating that "It is an old Dutch children's tradition" .... have capitulated with barely a fight, and painted 'Black Pete' blue. The BBC have reported that the Amsterdam regional court, perhaps unsurprisingly has decided that Zwarte Piet is a "negative stereotype of black people", duh, really?

Zwarte Piet Is Blauw Piet

Of course this wouldn't be a race story if the BBC didn't have their own take on the issue of 'Black facing', so it was no surprise that they ran a story on 'Is it always racist to black up your face?' .... this after some (white) German football fans were seen 'Blackfaced' in Brazil, before the World Cup game against Ghana.

However the moral outrage of the story was somewhat watered down, and lost some considerable amount of steam, when someone posted a pictures of a Ghana fan at the game ....

Sorry, Which One Is Being The Racist Again?
 
..... oh irony, where is they sting.

Veiled Threat Banned

With the news that the European Court has upheld the French 'full veil ban', one has to ask how long before other European nations adopt the same bans .... I don't mean the UK, we are incapable of doing anything, no I mean the southern, and central European member states (or even the Dutch), who are not so in thrall to Political Correctness?

No matter how 'liberal' some one is, I defy anyone who is not a Muslim, to not feel intensely uncomfortable in the company of someone who adopts this backward dress style. It's an intensely obvious rejection of the society that these Muslims have chosen to live in, and feels threatening to us .... its also a total rejection of the idea that men and women are equal, and in fact, of any tolerant integration.

"We're a tolerant and mutually respectful society."
Damian Green, Immigration Minister.




I for one would walk out of any shop or public body that employed staff dressed like that, never to transact with them again. I don't care what others think on this matter, but I know that I am not alone in this intense dislike of this aggressive proclamation of difference. Many others feel the same, even though they rarely say anything outside of their friends, such is the stranglehold that PC has on open speech.

I might add that it also makes something of a mockery of our 'tolerant and mutually respectful society', that Christians wearing a small cross, can be banned from many public spaces or employment, while this far more aggressive statement of 'faith' is permitted without any public condemnation by our leaders.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Subbuteo Hand Of God

The World Cup has ended in the usual manner for the England football team, and its ever deluded supporters (although fair to say the number of deluded has diminished markedly since 2002). Still it seems a good time to post two moments from England's World Cup history .... but in Subbuteo form. 

First up, the infamous 'Hand Of God' by that cheating little git, Madonna, sorry Maradona.

Cheating, Argentine Style

Followed by our one moment of glory .... Wembley Stadium, Bobby Moore, 1966 and all that ...



These and over 500 other such World Cup dioramas are the work of artist Terry Lee from Exeter, but who now lives in Brazil .... he hasn't gone completely mad though, when asked about the chances for England, he said "I don't see England doing well" ... which was true enough. 


Tanks For Nothing

When a tank roles out onto the street in a protest, it normally conjures up visions of the repressive regime using force to stamp out protest, like Tienanmen square, or maybe a military junta ousting a left wing but elected governments .... it doesn't conjure up visions of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Tank Protester

But street protests took a new turn in that provincial town, when a tank rolled down the cramped streets of Clifton to protest .... against plans for a residents' parking zone in Bristol. The Traders, angry with what they perceived as a treat to their trade have driven a 1942 Sherman tank around the streets of Clifton in protest ..... they said that they had chosen a tank because it represented a way of "defending your territory". 

The local Mayor and strong arm of authority, George Ferguson was unimpressed and tweeted: "This is getting ridiculous" (does no one ever issue press statements anymore?) and added that it was "Hardly the best way of winning over the good residents of Clifton".
 
The Police Saw The Funny Side

He did however later admit that he had laughed at the tank "prank" but that the mind "boggles at them trying to navigate it through some of our streets, which currently suffer from particularly inconsiderate parking". 

Its a surprise that the Health and Safety police didn't try to stop the protest, but the real police didn't intervene, which tells you much about how tolerant we still are, in a country that's fast losing its ability to laugh, as PC policies enforce ever harsher rules about dissent.

PC Doggerel

During a televised post-match interview with the 'Showtime' presenter, the black boxer Adrien Broner, referred to himself as the "can man" and said:

"Anybody can get it. Afri-cans, 
I just beat the f--k out of a Mexi-can."

The 'Mexi-can' being referred to was Carlos Molina - an American of Mexican heritage - who he had just beaten in a Welterweight boxing bout. Now apart from the gratuitous usage of the F word, this little bit of doggerel seems fairly harmless, given the context of two men trying to knock each others heads off.

Not so ... If you thought that, you obviously don't understand the rules of politically correct 'do's and 'don'ts'.

Calling someone a 'Mexi-can' is, and I selectively quote from the WBC statement, a "racially offensive statement", if the "words were intended to be disrespectful and offensive", since "words have different meanings and can be interpreted in different ways" .....

So presumably, calling anyone a 'Mexican' if you don't respect them, is now a sacking offence in the US? .... good luck with that then. Has anyone at the US based WBC ever seen the portrayal of Mexicans in 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad'? In fact it could be thought that considering the word "Mexican" to be potentially racist, is more racist in thought, than anything he actually said.

Family Guy's - Mexi-can Funeral

Mr Broner has received an indefinite suspension from the sport until he "makes a public apology satisfactory to the public of the world" .... I can't help thinking that there is some linkage with the furore surrounding the 'LA Clippers' basketball team owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life for comments made in a 'private phone call' that were recorded, and maliciously leaked to the press.

Recent events such as these above, the row over Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, whose private 'sexist emails', were also maliciously leaked by someone working in his office, and the forced resignation of Brendan Eich from the Firefox job, for a private political contribution, suggest to me that we now have entered the stage, where the PC Brigades now feel happy to spy on, leak against, and otherwise terrorise, anyone who they think deserves to be brought low.

Whatever next for daring to think the unthinkable? .... I almost despair that this PC madness will never end .... the Emperor was only exposed to be as naked as a jay bird, when a child shouts out that 'he's got no clothes on' ... the PC brigade will only be stopped, when a major politician fights back and denounces them for the bullies that they are.

Is She Packin?

Now we are all aware of body scanners and X-ray machines at airports etc, but how many of think about the need to scan people entering prison cells after being arrested?

Its long been well known that convicted male prisoners often conceal bladed weapons known as 'shanks' (aka 'banger' or 'burner'), or 'kites' (small written messages) in their backsides, but recently American police have had to deal with the female of the species, using the advantages nature gives them, to stash ever more elaborate objects from their attentions ....

 In March 2013, Christie Dawn Harris was arrested with a female friend by police in Ada, Oklahoma, after suspicious behaviour led to their car being searched, and the discovery by the police officers of  methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a pistol, and a loaded magazine. But it was when they got to the police station that the fun and games started. Ms Harris claimed that she couldn't be cavity searched as she was on her period and therefore did not want to be intimately searched.

Ms Harris and Her Contraband
 
Eventually she complied with the request, and that's when a female officer who performed a body search, found the handle of a loaded Freedom Arms .22-caliber handgun, with three live rounds and one spent shell in the barrel, "sticking out from" inside Ms Harris's private parts. They also discovered plastic baggies containing methamphetamine lodged in the crack of Harris’s buttocks.

Now this storing of a loaded gun in this manner and location, might have been something of an oddity, but for the fact that reports of ladies using their privates in this manner keep surfacing ....

In April 2014, police in Kingsport Tennessee said that 19-year-old Dallas Archer was caught smuggling a loaded gun into a jail, after a cavity search revealed she had been hiding the weapon in her crotch. She had been arrested for driving on a suspended license. The North American Arms, 22-caliber mini revolver was loaded .... and measures four inches in length and is nearly three inches tall and to top it all, it was a stolen weapon - taken during a 2013 auto burglary from a 70-year-old retired car salesman.
 
Ms Archer's Contraband

Apart from the motoring offences, she could now add charges for possession of stolen property, illegal possession of a firearm and introducing contraband into the jail. Archer was released from custody after posting $6,000 bail.

When reached for comment, the retired car salesman said he would eventually like “the little fellow” returned, even though it would require “a bath in bleach.”

There is a serious point to this post, which is that if women are prepared to go to such lengths over minor criminal matters, how much more likely are women who are driven by religious fervour and ideology to use this method?

What if instead of a gun, its explosives .... Could something exploded from that location bring down an air plane? Al-Qaeda seem to think so, and are actively working on such a device. The recent increase in Airport security may only be a precursor to worse to come and we may be in the end game of international air flights for the masses.

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....