13th Oct 2008
1. Justin McKeating – Say ‘no’ to 42 days.: The House of Lords debates 42 days today and is expected to vote against it, but with the Prime Minister still insisting that he will push through the 42-day proposals, [Amnesty International] will keep on campaigning until it’s defeated once and for all.
Sign the petition. Pass it on.
2. AlertNet – 12 New Stomach-Turning Revelations About Sarah Palin: Palin has taken to smearing Obama. But it’s her own record that continues to yield alarming information, undermining her skills and credibility.
3. Web user makes his views known on the fine body work done by Import Image / iDesign in Walnut, CA. (Ta to Lawrence for the link.)
4. Telegraph – Alisher Usmanov to drop interest in Arsenal takeover: Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has been advised not to go ahead with a takeover of the club and is reportedly ready to sell his shares.
(Psst! We were chatting at the table the other night when Usmanov’s name came up. The youngest griglet asked who he was, and a certain 10-year-old was heard to reply; “He’s Dad’s Russian arch-nemesis.” I was impressed by the correct and necessary use of a modifier more than anything.)
5. Birmingham: It’s Not Shit – Ten things we found out at the Tory Party Conference: …it became obvious that Nadine [Dorries] didn’t really like blogging (apart from the way that it got her comments straight to the diarists of newspapers), and didn’t really do it anyway – she emails the “blogs” that are part of her “online diary” to a guy who does her website…
8th Oct 2008
Peter Mullen has got himself into a bit of a muddle:
Disruptive – Dr Peter Mullen: The Rev Dr Peter Mullen is the Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre without Newgate, and the Chaplain to the Stock Exchange. He is a well-known “conservative” in the Church of England, and fairly frequently airs his views in the comment and letters pages of the “quality press”. He has been in the news in the last couple of days as a result of some homophobic remarks that he made very recently on his blog, which is now no longer available. I noticed that his blog had disappeared for quite different reasons: I had complained to the Bishop of London (in June this year) about some utterly outrageous and repulsive Islamophobic remarks that he had made there…
Guardian – Vicar could be disciplined for blog slurs against gays and Muslims: A Church of England vicar could face disciplinary action for saying gay men should have “sodomy” warnings tattooed on their bodies. The Rev Peter Mullen, who is a parish priest and rector in the City of London, made the remarks on his blog, which has since been removed from the web under an agreement with diocesan officials….
(Psst! See also: Mail article with 141 comments, if you think you can stomach them.)
1. It’s really not fair to describe Peter Mullen as a ‘blogger’ as some people have been doing, because he’s as much a blogger as I am a mountain climber*; like Iain Dale did when he first ‘started’, Mullen turned the engine over with maybe a dozen entries in quick succession in 2006 (1, 2, 3), and gave up for
a bit a lot. He then did slightly better in 2007 with maybe thirty entries (sample), gave up again, and then spat out four entries during what must have been a very quiet or frustrating week in June 2008.
(*Number of mountains I have climbed = 2. Small ones, at that. And it was a very long time ago.)
3. Mullen is now claiming that his outbursts were satire, and the problem (apparently) stems for our inability to understand this. Here’s his statement:
“I wrote some satirical things on my blog and anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they’re light-hearted jokes. I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion. What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality.” – Rev Dr Peter Mullen (source: all papers)
And a semi-anonymous web user helpfully expands on this claim here:
“It was satire, you *** satire. We spend money on warning people against the dangers of tobacco but actively promote a sin that shortens the lives of its victims significantly – and not just by AIDS. Are none of you familiar with Swift?” – ‘Geoffrey Baxter-Wright’ (source)
It is in this second claim that you get your first hint that ANY humour in Mullen’s ‘satire’ relies on certain assumptions and prejudices.
Regulars of this weblog should recall one clear example of this kind of thing, where the joke or ‘satire’ is only funny if you’re a bigoted twit with rather unique views about how the world works, but for those who are new here, I offer the following selection of 4 original posts from Peter Mullen’s ‘blog’:
The first is, I think it’s fair to say, an example of where Mullen’s fear of homosexuals intersects with his fear of Muslims, leading to what one might kindly refer to as a state of confusion…
Ramadan at Sandhurst
There’s only one religion in the calendar at Sandhurst Military Academy. Yes, it’s the bottoms-up chaps’ religion again. Ramadan is highlighted in the Academy’s calendar. Christian festivals don’t get a look in.
Originally published by Rev Dr Peter Mullen on September 12, 2007 at:
The second entry should make it clear that Mullen might actually believe what he’s saying when he runs with the ‘satire’ defence. Take a look at the structure and the reliance on certain assumptions and prejudices…
Happy junkies make clean water
Wonderful to hear that the social services are rewarding junkies who provide them with a “clean” urine sample with the drug of their choice. Heroin addicts may be given methadone or antidepressants – or even diamorphine (prescription heroin)
I should like to see this arrangement extended. If I supply a sample of clean wee wee may I claim my free case of Chateau Margaux please?
And the scheme has even wider possibilities: why not reward successful slimmers with cheeseburgers and Black Forest gateau; smokers who’ve managed to quit with 200 packs of Capstan Full Strength; fill the swag sacks of unsuccessful burglars with pieces of household silver etc etc?
Originally published by Rev Dr Peter Mullen on October 18, 2007 at:
But the second and third entries should make it obvious that Mullen is pressing one point to a far greater extent than he is mocking another….
Gay wedding at St Bartholomew’s EC1
The Bishop of London is in a high huff
Because Dr Dudley has married a puff;
And not just one puff – he’s married another:
Two priests, two puffs and either to other.
“It isn’t a wedding, for that’s not allowed;
They’ve just come together and promised and vowed
To shack up and snug up, to have and to hold:
Ooh aren’t we radical! Ooh aren’t we bold!”
Now here’s a most queer and most wonderful thing:
He’s given his hand, he’s offered his ring;
And each to the other forever will bend,
After their troll in the coach up West End.
Not a flash wedding, no pics in Hello!
Just a honeymoon cottage, convenient so.
Of such Dr Dudley a goldmine has found,
From shaven-head puftas the nuptial pink pound.
The new Church of England embraces diversity,
A fresh modulation on ancient perversity:
“I’m C of E and PC so don’t think it odd of me
To offer a licence and blessing for sodomy.”
Originally published by Rev Dr Peter Mullen on June 18, 2008 at:
Here’s the one that did the damage…
Matthew Parris is wilfully refusing to give his readers his opinion about the recent “gay wedding” and about relationships between the church and homosexuals generally. He says, “When it comes to the church, synagogue or mosque, if you think the whole thing ridiculous, its hard to get excited about the ridiculousness of a subset of it. I should feel the same if morris dancers or the British Astrological Society tried to exclude gays.”
So, for Parris, the views of billions of Christians, Jews and Muslims worldwide are of no more consequence than a couple of obscure sectional interests. From what point of privileged judgement does he thus discount 4000 years of civilisation? The great world religions have survived the criticisms of far more intelligent and better informed opponents than the ignorant upstart Parris. There is a whole history and literature of distinguished apologetics for religious belief, but Parris will attend to none of it – sufficient only to attract his disdain is mainstream religion’s disapproval of homosexual acts.
Since Parris will not dirty his hands by entering theological discussions with his readers, perhaps I might answer for religious believers in the purely utilitarian terms which even the lofty Parris is bound to engage with. We disapprove of homosexuality because it is clearly unnatural, a perversion and corruption of natural instincts and affections, and because it is a cause of fatal disease. The AIDS pandemic was originally caused by promiscuous homosexual behaviour. Such promiscuity is itself an evil because its perpetrators merely use others indiscriminately for their own gratification, treating their fellows as sex objects and as means to an end rather than as ends in themselves. I should have thought that Parris, having rejected religious belief, might want to construct his moral beliefs on this Kantian humanistic imperative. But I suspect he is not really interested in morality of any kind – except as a special plea to excuse his lust for gratification at whatever cost to human dignity and the sanctity of human life.
It is time that religious believers began to recommend specific utilitarian discouragements of homosexual practices after the style of warnings on cigarette packets: Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and their chins with FELLATIO KILLS. In addition the obscene “gay pride” parades and carnivals should be banned for they give rise to passive corruption, comparable to passive smoking. Young people forced to witness these excrescences are corrupted by them.
Let me continue the comparison with smoking which is banned in most public places. Those committing homosexual acts in public places – such behaviour being a crime in any case under the Homosexual Reform Act of 1967 – should be arrested, tried and punished. Parks, open spaces and public lavatories would at once become more wholesome places. There ought to be teaching films shown in sex education classes in all our schools. These would portray acts of sodomy and the soundtrack would reinforce the message that it is a filthy practice ending with the admonition: “We do, after all, know the importance of washing our hands after going to the lavatory.”
But I should like to turn Parris’ disdain for religion back on to him. If I consider that homosexual practices are vile, why should I concern myself with subsets of their aspects? I might as well concern myself with other minor irrelevancies such as the Doris Day fanclub and polo-neck sweaters
Originally published by Rev Dr Peter Mullen on June 19, 2008 at:
UPDATE – As an added bonus, here’s a post on the subject of Stephen Fry. See if you can spot the moment where the Rev Dr Peter Mullen reveals that he might be a wee bit prejudiced:
BBC Four are giving us a “Stephen Fry Night”. Actually it seems to be going on all week. I can’t understand why they should give such space to this overblown wit, but what’s really astonishing is that they put on an episode of Clarke’s “Civilisation” documentary, discussing “the paintings of Michelangelo and Bertini” and billed this as “part of the Stephen Fry Night”. I didn’t know the egotistical exhibitionist and celebrated manic-depressive pufta did those paintings too?
Incidentally, the BBC has been banned by the old KGB hardliners in Russia. Must be because they can’t stand the beeb’s left wing bias!
Originally published by Rev Dr Peter Mullen on August 19, 2007 at:
6th Oct 2008
1. Peter Mandelson: It must be a big tent if it’s got room for this clown in it. The Sun managed to amuse by taking this corrupt individual and essentially saying with their Saturday headline (“I’m Behind You”) that your main concern should be that he might bum you when you’re not looking. For reactions to the reshuffle and other local developments in the past few days, see Septicisle.
2. Sarah Palin: Now that the VP debate is over and I have a few moments, I’d just like to say that I find it enormously comforting to know that when the chips are down and a crisis is at hand, when she is called upon to do her best, that Sarah can, when given a week of preparation, studying and coaching, bluff her way through. Boldly. (Psst! To be filed under ‘Inches, Yards & Miles’: The question “Can I call you Joe?” asked by the woman who knows she has “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” already lined up as her solid-gold zinger. You may also want to have a peek at this manifestation of the Comparing Candidates meme.)
3. Moult-Watch: The first Yahoo Image results appeared late on Friday, and MrTrilby wins a prize from the shelf! (Sorry, Ciarin. Close, but no banana. You must be heartbroken after all the effort you put into your picture.)
- ‘Kate’ who contributes under comments here and elsewhere (and has already been notified, just in case you’re wondering if this is you) wins first pick – ever! – from the prize shelf, for her stoicism in the face of disappointment (she received an over-hyped ‘prize pack’ from Iain that was, in her words, “a massive let-down”) and for unknowingly and unjustly being the target of some rather ungentlemanly conduct from Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines.
(‘Kate’ happens to share a name with my wife, and this post is the only mention of that on this blog since… well, maybe one mention a long time before OTT right-wing idiots like Chambers, Staines and Hendren made it a good idea to keep even that basic level of information to yourself. In short, Paul revealed a creepy level of interest in my private life and a striking level of paranoia… while taking a rare break from calling me a paranoid stalker.)
- MrTrilby, who scored the first relevant Julie Moult result in Yahoo Images (see above).
Google is still distracted by the profile noise at b3ta (a href=”http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/09/moultwatch_the.asp”>more), but this delay can only make the eventual victory of true relevance that much sweeter.
With luck, we’ll be able to return to the prize shelf within a few weeks.
5. Big prize! The winner of the SEO Seminar free ticket giveaway is…..
MatGB calmly, karmicly and comprehensively ticked all the boxes by:
- Having great potential on the SEO development/use front
- Refusing to beg
- Showing not one but many useful networking connections that started with a search result. (I won’t go into details here, because there’s at least one stalker reading this, and this post goes out in the middle of a weekday afternoon, so he’s probably drunk, too.)
- Pointing out that he had already converted to my religion years ago.
It’s a busy week as I do my final prep for the seminar, but if Kate, Jim, BBD and Mat would care to check in via email, I’ll get prizes out to recipients ASAP.
2nd Oct 2008
The Vice presidential debate* will be worth watching if you have the stamina.
(*Friday, 3 October 2008, 01:00:00 GMT -|- Thursday, 2 October 2008, 20:00:00 CDT)
Andrew Sullivan – The Lies And Lies And Lies Of Sarah Palin: These are all documented, bald-faced factually irrefutable lies. More to the point: she refuses to cop to them or be held accountable for them or take questions about them.” (via)
Jonathan Martin – In reintroduction, Palin to do more interviews and “tell her story”: Of concern to McCain’s campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin’s interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing. The Palin aide, after first noting how “infuriating” it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions. After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases. There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence. (see also)
UPDATE – The BBC will be streaming the Biden-Palin debate live on its website from 0100 GMT. A prominent link to that will most probably appear here.
29th Sep 2008
26th Sep 2008
By now most of you would have seen this video of Sarah Palin crashing and burning on CBS just as David Letterman pointed out that McCain himself doesn’t appear to think that Palin can handle the campaign, never mind the presidency.
Glenn Greenwald offers further evidence and says; “it’s now conclusively, disturbingly clear that the McCain campaign really does intend essentially to shield her from any and all media scrutiny until the election.”
And it’s not just media scrutiny she wants to avoid, boys and girls, but witchcraft as well.
(Lovely apolitical message from the pulpit there, too; “Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus!”… *pause*…. and lo, there was a miracle, as those who heard his words took this as some sort of hint, though this was not the way it was meant at all! Truly the work of Teh Lord.)
And to top off a great week, she’s just declared victory in Iraq!
But join me now as we step past her awesome vacuity (via this excellent post on the subject of Nadine Dorries and her awesome vacuity) and look instead at the outright lies she has told:
Andrew Sullivan – The Twelve Lies Of Sarah Palin: So for the record, let it be known that the candidate for vice-president for the GOP is a compulsive, repetitive, demonstrable liar. If you follow the links, here is the proof. I repeat: proof…
Do click and read that post in full. It contains some of that magic pixie dust that Sarah promised to return with just before running over the horizon with her tail between her legs.
Can anyone give me one good reason why I shouldn’t burn Sarah Palin in effigy this coming bonfire night? I’ve rather cooled on the idea of burning Staines, not least because the requisite voodoo would require a long soaking in a large amount of alcohol and put the eyebrows of an entire village at risk. (For those who came in late: 2005, 2007)
25th Sep 2008
FACT: Nadine Dorries was using facilities paid for by the taxpayer for campaigning purposes…
Bloggerheads.com – Nadine Dorries and the minor matter of misappropriation
Liberal Conspiracy – The case against Nadine Dorries MP (pt 1)
FACT: Nadine Dorries was found to be in the wrong…
Ministry of Truth – Dishonesty Dorries Rides [Yet] Again
Liberal Conspiracy – Our complaint against Nadine Dorries MP upheld
But if you were to believe Nadine Dorries (usually a mistake), she has been the victim of a party-political attack that has been a waste of taxpayer’s money! The projection is quite extraordinary…
Nadine Dorries – The Big Issues Of Our Time (And Wasting Parliamentary Time)
[WARNING - The above link only works in some browsers, because Nadine's 'blog' is a joke. You will have to scroll down the page in search of the relevant entry.]
And you were to give Iain Dale the benefit of the doubt (again, usually a mistake), he was merely taking a friend at her word and not trying to reinforce her distortion or further her projection…
Iain ‘Liar’ Dale – Sunny Hundal & Nadine Owe Each Other An Apology
I initially waited to comment on this because I wanted to see more of the letter than what Dorries chose to disclose (the woman has a history of cherry-picking evidence in order to present a grand distortion of the truth).
Now I’m waiting patiently to see how Iain Dale addresses his earlier demand for an apology and his description of Sunny’s complaint as a ‘smear’.
But one aspect I can tackle immediately is Dorries’ quite sickening attempt to hide under a pile of dead bodies and despair:
This whole matter has been a personal wake-up call for me.
There’s the threat of international terrorism; a rudderless government in decline; huge economic uncertainty; the war in Afghanistan; a global energy crisis; the re-emergence of Russian aggression; and the spread of HIV in Africa.
But what about the complainant? Does the content of my blog really warrant such attention?
I think this has been a most revealing episode as to his type of politics – it’s certainly not mine.
Putting aside the deceit that how we conduct political debates matters less than any given subject that may or may not be worthy of debate, lets take a look and see how Nadine Dorries addresses the issues she lists as more important than paying any (negative) attention to what she laughingly describes as a blog:
Apart from this particular mention, on that ‘blog’ of hers she has mentioned HIV once, and Africa once. And not in the same breath or even in the same year.
FFS, Abba got more mentions on her ‘blog’ than HIV or Africa or HIV in Africa.
She has mentioned Afghanistan three times, and Russia three times (once to describe her ‘blogging’ as a form of Russian roulette). Ditto for terrorism/terrorists. On the economy, I did searches for words like ‘economy’, ‘debt’ and ‘credit crunch’ and found a mere half-dozen entries.
Further, Iraq is only mentioned five times, and torture doesn’t rate a single mention.
Meanwhile, ‘abortion’, her personal campaign cow, brings up 51 entries. The bulk of these entries are from the period when the weblog was clearly an integrated part of a website paid for by taxpayers.
(If you would like to play this game yourself, simply click here and then add the word of your choice in the search box.)
Septicisle – Nadine Dorries just cannot stop lying
Mark Pack – What does “completely cleared” mean?
Sim-O – Nadine spins
Enemies of Reason – Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies
Back Toward The Locus – Sorry, Are You Into Politics?
25th Jul 2008
In a nutshell, a long running mismanagement and industrial relations saga involving legal shenanigans, enforced contract changes, now up to 30 Industrial Tribunals and the loss over 2 years of a 200 year old chain of bookshops after a takeover that should have rejuvenated it.
Dave had reported the story in 75 posts, and has been Cease and Desisted – in the middle of the Lambeth Conference where he is very busy as Artist in Residence, just as the bookshop chain is being placed in bankruptcy in USA; it is a UK company.
Abstruse management saga becomes freedom of speech issue in middle of 3 weeks when press attention is focused on Lambeth Conference.
Cue shitstorm. Hopefully.
… and then sending you here for more.
30th May 2008
The attack on Louise Redvers is particularly appalling… and actionable. Sadly, The Obi One has yet to reveal what he’s really angry about (i.e. what triggered this greatly delayed outburst).
(That is what you’re fishing for, yes? Next time, try to take the lead before you’re backed into a corner, eh?)
3. Independent – Clive Stafford Smith: Why has the Government forsaken Binyam Mohamed?: Why would the British Government refuse to disclose this kind of critical information? Here, we are left to speculate, since they won’t give an explanation. Sadly, the most likely reason is that there is much more evidence that they would rather remained hidden – such as proof of systematic British co-operation in the US rendition process.
If you’d like a hint as to the most likely outcome, here it is; Jack Straw still holds a cabinet position.
4. BBC – Blair ‘to devote life to faith’: Former prime minister Tony Blair has promised to “spend the rest of my life” uniting the world’s religions
Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, do excuse me. That’s unforgivably rude. I should kn*…. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
5. Emptywheel – George Bush Authorized the Leak of Valerie Wilson’s Identity: Scottie McC doesn’t know it yet. But that’s basically what he revealed this morning on the Today Show…
7. I had four beers last night, and I’m seriously considering breaking my curfew on Saturday night so I can see a movie with the missus.
I’m a bad boy…. but you ain’t seen nothing yet:
8. Manticore. Monday.
SPECIAL BONUS LINK: An incredible timesaver for 98% of the remaining* regular contributors to Iain Dale’s website. (*Most of the sensible people have grown tried of being ignored, censored, abused by anonymous cowards or told to “piss off” by the great man himself.)
27th May 2008
Two items for those who watched In God’s Name and appreciated seeing the evidence of Christian fundamentalists and their influence in politics (locally, thanks to David “I’m a tolerant kind of guy” Cameron and his ‘nice’ Tory party):
1. Jesus Camp gets a repeat airing on More4 at 10pm tonight (Tuesday 27 May, 2008). You may recall this classic footage of children urged to bless a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush. Expect to see this and more tonight.
2. Independent – Suburban Sydney shows dark side as Muslim school row gets vicious: Liberal Australia has been shocked by the ferocity of the opposition. Riot police were called when nearly 1,000 people turned up at a public meeting of anti-school campaigners. Two pigs’ heads, impaled on stakes, with an Australian flag strung between them, were left on the proposed site, a paddock on the fringes of town. Among the meeting’s organisers was Fred Nile [1, 2], leader of a fundamentalist Christian party and a long-standing member of the New South Wales parliament. Mr Nile – who has no links with Camden – accused Muslims of hating Christians, and called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration.
(If you’d like to spend more time watching wingnuts exploiting valid concerns of locals as hatred begins to swallow them whole, read/see more here, here and here and revel in a notable highlight here; “”They’ve got terrorists amongst them, OK? We can’t say they haven’t – they have,” said one resident.”)
UPDATE (28 May) – Jesus Camp is a
hell heck of an outing, isn’t it?
Josh Timonen – Surviving ‘Jesus Camp’: “Raise your hand if you think that God can do anything!” Pastor Becky Fischer throws her arm into the air as an example while darting her eyes back and forth over the children in the audience. She yells in a fake high-pitched voice like a sleazy, overly animated kid’s show host and waits for them to imitate her answer. In one aisle a mother lifts the arm of her disinterested son, no more than 8 years old. That, in a nutshell, is the whole problem.
I have a number of Christian readers, some of them more devout than others, but I would hope none as delusional or as predatory as Becky Fischer, who says things like “The Devil goes after the young; those who cannot fend for themselves*” without a shred of self-awareness.
(*Followed by a charming message about Harry Potter, which you can see from 03:40 onwards here.)
Oh, and here are some after-show treats for you:
Carman – Who’s in the House? (That totally rad choon what lets kids get down wif Jesus and his posse.)
The Creation Adventure Team (Highlights from the ‘educational’ DVD you saw Levi watching. The video description on YouTube is a tad OTT, but the author is bang on with this warning; “Don’t listen to what they tell the press, listen to what they teach their own children, because that’s what they really mean.”)