September 2005

If only

Christopher Walken for President 2008

Our great country is in a terrible downward spiral. Were outsourcing jobs, bankrupting social security, and losing lives at war. We need to focus on whats important paying attention to our children, our citizens, our future. We need to think about improving our failing educational system, making better use of our resources, and helping to promote a stable, safe, and tolerant global society. Its time to be smart about our politics. Its time to get America back on track.

Spot the terrorist

Walter Wolfgang, 82, was ejected from the conference for heckling Heckler, 82, who dared called Straw a liar is held under terrorist law

Labour had to apologise to an 82-year-old activist last night after he was roughly thrown out of the party conference for heckling Jack Straw on Iraq.

The leadership faced angry protests from MPs and party members who accused it of stifling dissent and abandoning traditions of free speech.

The Foreign Secretary was telling the conference that Britain was in Iraq for one reason only - to help the elected Iraqi government - when Walter Wolfgang shouted: Thats a lie and you know it.

And heres the kicker

Mr Wolfgang, a refugee from Nazi Germany and a Labour Party member since 1948, was immediately surrounded by security staff in full view of the television cameras and ejected from the hall in Brighton as officials revoked his pass.

When he tried to re-enter the secure zone, he was stopped by a police officer citing the Terrorism Act.

Look closely at the picture to the left. Squint. Close your eyes. Use your imagination.

Now, can you see the explosive badge?

(via No Geek is an Island)

Sick Bastards

According to The Independent, animal rights extremists have moved on from threatening adults and are now targeting children as well.

Letters sent to the home addresses of company directors [of Leapfrog Day Nurseries] threatened that the childcare company, which has 10,000 places nationwide, would suffer the consequences if it did not withdraw a vouchers scheme offered to HLS employees within seven days.

Leapfrog said last night that it had decided to end the vouchers scheme immediately because of the threat from the Animal Rights Militia.

A spokesman for the nursery company said: Whilst threats of any sort are totally unacceptable, we have to take them seriously. The care of the children and our staff is of paramount concern. Our business is childcare and we have to take every precaution when it comes to the security and safety of these children and our employees.

In related news

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) this week claimed responsibility for a firebomb left outside the Buckinghamshire home of Paul Blackburn, a senior executive with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the pharmaceutical giant, which has links with HLS.

The device exploded on the porch of the house while Mr Blackburns wife and daughter were at home.

And

An incendiary device was also placed at a sports pavilion in Oxford owned by Corpus Christi College as a protest against a primate laboratory being built by the university.

Not only are these people violent criminals but, if any of them has ever received any medical treatment, they are also hypocrites.

Anti War?

Christopher Hitchens on Saturdays demonstration in Washington, in favor of immediate withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq.

To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the Serbian ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is quite another. It is really a disgrace that the liberal press refers to such enemies of liberalism as antiwar when in reality they are straight-out pro-war, but on the other side. Was there a single placard saying, No to Jihad? Of course not. Or a single placard saying, Yes to Kurdish self-determination or We support Afghan womens struggle? Dont make me laugh. And this in a week when Afghans went back to the polls, and when Iraqis were preparing to do so, under a hail of fire from those who blow up mosques and U.N. buildings, behead aid workers and journalists, proclaim fatwahs against the wrong kind of Muslim, and utter hysterical diatribes against Jews and Hindus.

Some of the leading figures in this movement, such as George Galloway and Michael Moore, are obnoxious enough to come right out and say that they support the Baathist-jihadist alliance. Others prefer to declare their sympathy in more surreptitious fashion. The easy way to tell whats going on is this: Just listen until they start to criticize such gangsters even a little, and then wait a few seconds before the speaker says that, bad as these people are, they were invented or created by the United States. That bad, huh? (You might think that such an accusation—these thugs were cloned by the American empire for Gods sake—would lead to instant condemnation. But if you thought that, gentle reader, you would be wrong.)

Read the whole thing, as they say.

(via Norm)

Because Googlebombs are more fun

MediaWatchWatch has started an MCB meme. Im game.

So heres the link to the self-important clowns.

This is your society. This is your society on religion.

The Times has picked up on a report from the Journal of Religion and Society which suggests that religion is not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

Gregory Paul, the author of the study and a social scientist, used data from the International Social Survey Programme, Gallup and other research bodies to reach his conclusions.

He compared social indicators such as murder rates, abortion, suicide and teenage pregnancy.

The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

Money Churches

While not doing all the things I should be doing this evening, I found the Bad Gas website, and their Money Churches page had me laughing out loud.

Go read it.

YOU JUST DONT UNDERSTAND!

Janice Turner writing in The Times makes a very telling observation about the sudden craze for the hijab among Muslim teenage girls:

But as teen rebellions go, the hijab is as effective a two-fingered gesture to the world as a punk’s mohican, goth’s black garb or a 1970s feminist’s man-repellent dungarees.

So after the debate I asked Hadil if there was nothing about British society she admired? Did she not believe women should be able to vote? (Yes, she did.) If she had to appear in court, did she think her testimony was worth that of any man? (Too right.) Had she not just enjoyed, that very afternoon, freedom of religious expression — indeed of an expensive, state-funded, multi-media variety? (Well, yes.) Wasn’t it fabulous that while given the choice of wearing the hijab, she was not compelled to do so? (Yes.) And that, although she does receive the occasional rude remark about her chosen dress, she mostly walks the streets unmolested? Were not these freedoms also part of British morality, just as much as throwing up outside All Bar One or wearing your knickers above your jeans? And was there a Muslim nation on earth that would afford her the same rights? (Probably not.)

It was a little like the “What have the Romans ever done for us?” scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Yes, apart from equality, democracy, religious tolerance and freedom of speech, British morality had done nothing for Hadil. Mr Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, described these hard-won and magnificent freedoms as “simple truths which bind us together”. Talking about being British one cannot but adopt a Hugh Grant stumbling modesty, so ill-mannered and jingoistic does it sound to bang a drum, even very softly.

(via Norm via Mick Hartley)

At The Gay Muppet Bar

Listen to the theme from the Muppet Show mashed up with The Electric Six from Radio Earwax via The Observer Blog.

Why go out?

This guy doesnt like watching films in cinemas.

So why do I now want to go to the theater? Do I want to go because its more expensive than a DVD rental? Do I want to go for the greasy popcorn coated with trans-fat butter-flavored oil?

More accurately, he doesnt like watching films at all

Now with the DVD and the so-called home theater, the average experience is simply better at home. You can stop the movie when you want. You can eat dinner while watching. You can pause the movie and examine a scene more closely. The only thing you really miss is the group experience of sitting in an audience with a hundred or more strangers who react to the film, which is an important form of socialization.

Yes, you can sit in front of the TV while you eat your dinner. But anyone who does that cant claim to be actually watching the film, as is evidenced by the incessant barrage of questions along the lines of whos he or whys she doing that from the person who went to get the mustard at a crucial plot point.

Of course, you can pause the film, or even rewind it to catch the bits you missed. But if you do that, all atmosphere and any dramatic tension immediately goes out of the window.

And then there are all of the other irritations that come with watching films at home - the phone, the girlfriend complaining about the volume (the surround sound home theatre was a great investment there), the dog that suddenly wants to play - or go out, the cat that decides that in front of the TV screen is a much better place to sit than anywhere else.

Yes, you can get idiots in the cinema who leave their mobile phones on or, worse still, make calls during the film. But these people are a lot fewer than the article suggests. Or maybe I have just been luckier with my choice of cinemas.

And, as A Cloud In Trousers points out

[B]eing part of large group laughing, crying, sitting on the edge of your sets, and having the other emotions you have in a cinema is a G-O-O-D thing.

There is a group dynamic in cinemas and it does intensify the experience so that even a bad film becomes watchable and a good film becomes incredible.

When I started this post, I was going to no more than link to a THX ad. But the effect is lost if you watch it on a PC.

(via Rullsenberg Rules)

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