Sunday, 4 April 2010

Diana Watch

If you want an insight into how a society can/will breakdown just turn the power off on a set of traffic lights at a particularly junction.

I think you can describe this as a perfect storm for a Daily Express front page, Princess Diana and weather.

 I don’t think we need to go into the story really do we? No of course we don’t. The Daily Express is rapidly becoming Britain’s answer to the National Enquirer.

Wednesday's Mail and Express both had the same story with the same basic premise, “It is political correctness gone mad!”
 The version that you got from the head and by-lines was that a person was fined £1000 for selling a goldfish. Well, how ridiculous and of course not entirely correct.

Great Grandmother (who is 66! A great grandmother at 66, usually the Mail would have been criticizing that, how young were these people having children?, but they have bigger fish to fry! Ha, see what I’ve done there!) Joan Higgins sold a goldfish to someone who was 14 and this is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, they have to be 16 or occupied by an adult.  Oh much later on in both versions of the article “a council officer in the shop at the time also noticed a cockatiel in a cage that appeared to be in a poor state of health. A vet found the bird had a broken leg and eye problems. It was later put down.” So more breaking of the law then.
This may come as a surprise to Mail and Express but cruelty to animals is against the law. The maximum penalty for this crime is £20,000 and a year in prison so she, with her only £1000 and 120 hrs of community service, got of quite lightly really.
 This obviously has annoyed these papers, especially the Mail. This paper seems to be pushing for a 2 tier legal system, one for us and, as they would see it, the scummy people and then their readers who they seem to think the law should not apply to. See their offence when “middle class” types are charged with crimes. 
  A second tier of law, ummm, can you imagine the outcry if someone suggested a second tier of law based on say….. Sharia law? Of course you can because someone nearly did and this happened, here, here and here.
 They don’t, however, make a fuss about Jewish or Beth Din courts which have been operating in our country for many, many years, how strange. Is it because they don't know about them? Perhaps someone should tell them. Can it be me? Please?

Science news now.
 The Large Hadron Collider’s power is being turned up (yes, possibly to 11 but is that joke funny any more?) and they have started smashing very, very small things into each other.
 The worlds most complicated ever machine is now setting records for the most powerful particle collisions created by man. They are running at seven-trillion-electronvolt (TeV) collisions (no, I don’t know what that means either) which have initiated 18-24 months of intensive investigations.
 This is a good thing. Some people see this sort of thing as a waste of money, science for science's sake, but they are wrong. Do we know where these ground breaking experiments will take us? No, of course we don't, if we did there would be no point in the experiment.
 Did NASA think “what we are looking at inventing is a fabric fastening material and a coating to stop our bacon sticking to the frying pan”? No they didn't. They wanted to put men in space and then on the moon and they found some other stuff along the way.

 “Climategate” was bobbins.
 The Commons Science and Technology Committee has critised the University of East Anglia’s Dept of Climatic Research Unit (which consists of about 3 people) for not dealing with endless Freedom of Information requests for AGW deniers (not overly comfortable with that word but sceptic is the wrong word. Sceptics consider all the evidence not ignore most of it) well enough and that was all.
 The E-mails of Professor Phil Jones of the CRU were hacked and posted on the internet. These were used by some people with dubious motives to try and claim that he had manipulated the data to make it look like Climate Change was happening when it really it wasn’t. The committee said much of the data that critics claimed Prof Jones had hidden, was in fact already publicly available.
 “We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus that global warming is happening and is induced by human activity”.
 Now I don’t know about you but I think that that is a pretty big smack down to the doubters but I don’t think that it will help to change their minds, after all they think that just because it is cold in England right now that this quite clearly proves that AGW is nonsense. That is an ok view for them to have in my opinion because it will be summer soon when it will be hot and by their logic this will prove that Climate Change is happening and then we will all laugh at them.

More architecture this week because London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that they are going to build a fucking big statue/sculpture type of thing for the Olympic Games.

Now don’t worry if you don’t like it because you aren’t going to pay for most of it. The ArcelorMittal Orbit (odd name) is designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and £16million of the total £19.1million will come from steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal who owns the company ArcelorMittal, oh that will be where the name of the thing comes from. The other £3.1million will come from the London Development Agency.

Priests raping children update now,
 The Vatican has decided that the best form of defence is attack this week with the Pope describing the news coverage of the church’s of the cover up of decades of sexual abuse as “petty gossip”. In his address on Palm Sunday he said that faith in God leads “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion”. He didn't refer directly to the scandal but the implication was pretty clear. He managed to ignore it or cover it up when he was a Cardinal and now he intends on dismissing it while he is Pope.
 If they wanted to mount a proper defence they have 2 options open to them; they can either attack the victims by trying to make them seem unreliable which may yet happen or you can attack those printing the allegations about you, which is what the Vatican has decided to do. First there was the “petty gossip” thing and now we have accusing the New York Times of going into “attack mode” for printing a series of articles about what the Pope may or may not have known. Cardinal William Levada, who is doing the Pope's old job (no, honestly, the man defending the Pope is the man whose job it is to cover things up, just like the Pope did) said that the paper should “give the world a more balanced view of a leader it can and should count on". No it shouldn't. It should be reporting the news not doing your advertising for you. If your Employees have broken the law, which it seems they have, then that should be reported.
 I thought about making some sort of joke about it's only a matter of time before someone tried to make out that it was “an anti-Catholic” conspiracy but thankfully someone has gone one better. Someone has stepped up and compared asking some questions and trying to get justice for the victims and with....., no wait for this, this is good...........  Anti-Semitism! No really!
 I give you the Rev Raniero Cantalamessa, Pope Benedict's personal preacher, raised this brilliantly distracting but ultimately spectacularly offensive idea during Good Friday prayers in St Peter's Basilica. And there we have it, now we have playing the victim.
 Strangely enough this has not gone too well with those of non-pork eating, foreskin removing persuasion.  Stephan Kramer, general-secretary of Germany's Central Council of Jews, described the remarks as offensive and repulsive. "So far I haven't seen St Peter's burning, nor were there outbursts of violence against Catholic priests."
  It's not wall to wall criticism though; some members of the Church are taking the issue seriously. Archbishops in Austria and Switzerland are appealing to parishioners to come forward with their allegations, and admitting to past mistakes when dealing with claims. They also asked for forgiveness as they tried to repair the damage caused by the sex abuse scandal currently not being cover or investigated as it should.
 Well it's a start, perhaps they could Email (or Tweet) the Holy See to try and encourage him to do the right thing. I know that after all this time he’s unlikely to change his mind but that would be the decent thing to do.
The links that I have used for this story all come form the BBC and the Guardian, there is a good reason for that. It does seem that a lot of news outlets in the UK are a little quiet on this story, you can click here for a made up Deity's view on this.

The Award for Panic of the Week,

 Why on earth are we banning Methedrone? I assume it is because it has crap nicknames like “meow meow” or “M Cat”.
 The tabloids got really upset about it, wrongly I might add (these 2 boys took Methadone (the heroin replacement, prescription only drug), and alcohol as well as Methedrone) and then the Government asked the , really understaffed, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to consider what to do with it.
 When I say “consider what to do with it” I don't mean how to take it, I mean ban it. And then it was so. There was very little discussion amongst the council according to latest resignee Eric Carlin. In his letter to Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, he said,
    “Re-Mephedrone; we had little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people’s behaviour. Our decision was unduly based on media and political pressure. The report was tabled to the whole Council for the first time on Monday; the Chair came to brief you before the whole Council had even discussed all of the report. In fact, I still haven’t seen the final version.”
 So if you want something banned get some newspapers to make a fuss about it. The Home Secretary will push it through and you will get your way, which is good news for all of us, if we are a right wing newspaper.

I know that it is childish but I want to go and see “Kick Ass” just because it has pissed of the Daily Mail so much. I want it to do well so that they are even for annoyed.
 They seem not to like the film because a child uses a bad word and there is some violence, ah well. They describe it as “Evil” and if that doesn't make me want to go and see the film then I don't know what will. Oh and Mark Kermode gave it a good review too.

I will leave you with this happy little thought, British Chiropractic Association happily promotes bogus treatments even though there is not a jot of evidence.

1 comment:

  1. Nice set of zings you've got there. One might have hoped that there wasn't quite so much to attack.