Fred and Sharon Spencer are a delightful couple from Kelowna, Canada.
In January of this year, they invested in the domain name fredandsharonsmovies.com, uploaded a shedload of brilliant videos to their YouTube channel, and waited for the world to come knocking on their door, seeking the services of ‘Fred and Sharon’s Movie Productions’ (and/or ‘Fred Spencer Productions Unlimited’).
Sadly, nothing happened.
A month later, Fred Spencer uploaded what is quite possibly the most brilliant promotional video ever to be released on YouTube.
But again, nothing happened… until a few days ago, when people finally started to sit up and take notice in a BIG way.
Fred and Sharon are now one of the hottest tickets on Teh Internets, but – and here comes the really odd bit – they have suddenly decided that they no longer want to promote their services as filmmakers (and animators); the bulk of their site has been removed* and replaced with the message “temporarily offline”!
I can’t for the life of me work out why. Perhaps you’d care to take a look at their YouTube channel and the promotional video that made all the difference and enlighten me:
(Queensland) Courier Mail – Repeat sex offender to be deported: A serial child sex offender with a 43-year criminal history will be kicked out of the country as soon as he is released from a Brisbane jail this month. Raymond Kenneth Horne, 61, has been declared an unlawful citizen in Australia after spending more than 14 years behind bars for sexual offences against boys as young as 13.
1. Spare a thought for any poor sod by the name of Raymond Thorne: the peeps at the Mirror have mistakenly used this name not once but twice.
2. There are a number of points and concerns worth discussing here, so congratulations to the good people at the Sun, who have run with the story and actively promoted the following as their main online discussion today (the title speaks for itself):
Number of MPs who stood up for the notion that “the bearskin hats worn by the five guards regiments have no military significance and involve unnecessary cruelty”: 207
Number of MPs who stood up for the notion that “the Prime Minister [should] meet the UK’s moral obligations by offering resettlement to all Iraqis who are threatened with death for the “crime” of helping British troops and diplomats”: 79
Iain has gone in to bat for his old chum Ann Widdecombe and plugged her campaign “to persuade the MoD to stop buying black bearskins from Canada.”
[Psst! The issue here for the government appears to be the lack of viable alternatives to bearskin. Perhaps Iain will be bold enough to suggest the use of fox skins instead. I’m sure they’d stitch together real nice, and the red will go well with the uniforms.]
“I shall not miss the late nights and above all I shall not miss the EDMs. For the uninitiated that stands for early day motions which number thousands in the course of a parliament and have no more impact than a feather landing on a mattress, but which constituents take seriously and wish me to sign. Most of them call for open-ended funding for everything from varicose veins to hedgehog refuges.” – Ann Widdecombe
What a grizzled and bitter old hypocrite she is; no wonder she and Dale get on like a house on fire.
UPDATE – Justin informs us that we can add Celia Barlow to the list, and offers this insight into Ann Widdecombe’s pick ‘n’ mix approach to humanity…
Chicken Yoghurt – Number crunching: And if you’re an ickle baby foetus, Ann’s got your back. If you’re an ickle baby foetus who grows up to be drilled to death by an Iraqi death squad or executed for being an Iranian homosexual, well, sorry but Ann’s got bears to worry about.
You may recall that last week Paul Staines lifted this item from the Sunday Mercury without crediting that local newspaper as the source (presumably because it simply wouldn’t do to undermine his reputation as the King of Mole Hill).
Point of Hypocrisy #1 – Paul Staines is forever harping on about how MSM ‘steals’ his material without credit, when more often than not it’s simply a case of a number of people getting on to the same story at the same time when Staines has the advantage of instant publication without such mundane concerns as verification, production, litigation, etc.
The Daily Express also lifted the Sunday Mercury item without credit, even using many of the quotes (i.e. as if they had sourced them themselves)… but the Daily Express also made a subtle reference to Derek Conway in their article, when there was no indication of any impropriety regarding any of the employees/income involved.
Later that Monday, the Sunday Mercury article was still in place, but the Daily Express article had been removed. The most likely reason why should have been obvious to anyone who has the slightest clue about libel; after all, the two items were identical in nature right up until the point where the Conway reference was made.
But the reason for this removal appears to be a mystery to Staines and his readers. There are even some comments (anonymous, natch) suggesting that it was removed because of the vast (and quite possibly Stalinist) MSM conspiracy to keep the public in the dark… oh, and did I mention that the Sunday Mercury article was still in place?
Points of Hypocrisy #2, #3 and #4 – Amusing behaviour on the blog of a man who (a) dismisses or deletes anonymous comments when contributors aren’t singing from his song sheet (b) labels those who mention this and other forms of selective moderation as ‘conspiracy theorists’, and (c) is quite fond of ‘disappearing’ information himself.
While all of this was going on, Paul Staines was outdoing the Daily Express by an extraordinary degree, by making an overt comparison to Derek Conway. This is what I blogged at the time:
Bloggerheads – Let’s probe some padded expenses!: The comparison to Derek Conway is totally out of order unless one *only* addresses the money Tom Watson paid to his wife Siobhan and *if* there appears to be some irregularity and/or difficulty proving that she has done this work. (Lister in the Express also works Conway into his article, but is far more careful about it.) The crux of the Conway matter was that Derek Conway had paid his son Freddie Conway £40,000 (over a three year period) and no record was found of any work done by this ‘researcher’. If a fair comparison were to be made, it would involve an estimated £60,000 paid to Siobhan Watson (i.e. over the same period) and there would have to be some indication that she didn’t actually do any work during this period. But instead, Staines (followed by Lister) has grouped the money paid by Tom Watson to his wife with Tom’s own pay and expenses, *and* tacked on money paid to members of his extended family by people and organisations that have *SFA* to do with that MP.
The Conway comparison was totally unfounded and totally uncalled for – and it should be clear why.
But not to Staines.
In a follow-up post, he plays to the conspiracy theorists, delivers a playground-level taunt, fails to link to the challenger(s) he claims to have bested, congratulates himself for being “ahead of the dead-tree-press” (over an item that he lifted from the dead-tree press) and hits us with his usual straw-man bullshit:
Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes) – Pigs to Westminster, Home of the Pork: The unpopular parts of the blogosphere are complaining about Guido’s comparison of the monies received by Tom Watson’s family and the amount received by Derek Conway’s family. None of them dispute that the Watsons suck on the teat of the taxpayer to a far greater extent than the Conways ever did.
Derek Conway is notorious not for his overall level of expenditure, but for his failure to properly account for work done that would justify part of that expenditure.
Paul Staines lifted the guts of an article involving overall expenditure figures – and expenditure that has nothing to do with Tom Watson’s office – and then described the resulting sum as; “far more than the disgraced Derek Conway fiddled…”
Here I remind you that the Daily Express article was largely identical to the Sunday Mercury article, with the primary difference being a very subtle reference to Conway (it was presented as ‘background’). Oh, and that the Daily Express article was withdrawn.
But Staines made a direct comparison to Conway, and also implied that some or all of the expenditure involved was fiddled.
But I wouldn’t look forward to Staines’ article being removed anytime soon, as this ‘libertarian’ has taken a number of measures to ensure that he is (or at least appears to be) immune to litigation.
Point of Hypocrisy #5 – And yet if Paul Staines regards himself to be unfairly treated/represented, he will threaten to sue.
Meanwhile, Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines continues to play the bold, straight-talking warrior for personal freedom… but you should never forget that it’s those lying, two-faced MPs that we have to watch out for.
Paul Staines didn’t think this was worth chasing. At all.
Paul Staines also didn’t think it was a good idea to pursue the single portion of Watson-related expenditure that might allow him to make a justified comparison to Conway. So I’ve done the bulk of the work for him… but have left a bonus treat for Paul and his fellow right-wing propagandists and conspiracy theorists. I hope they enjoy it…
LayScience – Dr. Joseph Obi vs. LayScience.net: Today I have “most ethically” triggered a chain of events that may be of great interest to the Royal College of Alternative Medicine. Nothing beats good evidence, and I’ve just posted a load of it to the Irish Government’s Office of the Director Of Corporate Enforcement…
As I’ve mentioned before; there are many reasons not to hotlink, but one of them is that you have no control over the image, which might very well be changed by the person hosting it… often with the specific intention of making the hotlinker look like a bit of a dick.
While we’re waiting for Tom… here’s a US marine throwing a puppy off a cliff (maybe):
News.com.au – Military investigates puppy-throwing video: The US military is investigating a YouTube video that apparently shows a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff. Major Chris Perrine from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii said the man appears to be based with a unit in the islands. The video has caused an internet backlash after footage of the incident was uploaded onto YouTube – even though it could be fake.
UPDATE (9pm) – The Times – Puppy-toss video makes Marine figure of hate: A US Marine has become the target of a massive internet hate campaign after a mobile phone video appearing to show him throwing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq became a viral hit… A number of US websites named the perpetrator as David Motari, a 22-year-old from Washington state who has recently returned from Iraq and is based in Hawaii. Mr Motari’s profile on the social networking site Bebo was closed down yesterday. Some sites posted his personal details, phone numbers and even a picture of his car, while other bloggers called for him to be ostracised.