Archive for January, 2010

A Bunch of Fannies in Culpeper County, Virginia

31/01/2010

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reports that Culpeper County Public Schools in Virginia has pulled an edition of The Diary of Anne Frank. Not because they were antisemitic twunks, but because they were prudish twunks who reacted in horror at passages such as this:

There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!

Yes, that is correct: horror at a 14 year old girl’s awareness that she had a vagina and knew what it did and, worst of all, presumably had put her fingers down there.

What next? Attempting to ban a book about two male penguins taking care of an egg?

The most challenged book of 2009, according to the ALA, was “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, based on a true story about two male penguins who care for an orphaned egg. Sounds truly subversive to me.

Oh, wait.

(HAT TIP – Scepacabra.)

Overdosing on Homeopathic Remedies

31/01/2010

I would not say that homeopathic remedies are wholly bogus, because I have no doubt that their proponents believe passionately in their effectiveness. Then again, even if a treatment for woodworm was promoted in which cats were to be doused with kerosene and used as fire-frisbees, I would not excuse any proponents if they believed passionately in their effectiveness.

So, I was satisfied to see the 1023 Campaign challenge Boots for its policy to stock homeopathic ‘remedies’ by purchasing large quantities and consuming them there and then, with no ill-effects.

The Society of Homeopaths called it a “stunt”.

Well, of course it was.  Surely you have a media department which advized you on the credibility your sincerely believed-in treatments would get from being stocked by Boots?

An attempt to drink the kool-aid in Southampton can be seen here:

I wonder if Boots will now stock faith-healing crystals.

(HAT TIP – Richard Wilson.)

Public Sector Employee Declines a Bonus

30/01/2010

FIFE POLICE’S Chief Constable Norma Graham has confirmed that she will turn down her bonus, given the ongoing furore over public sector bonuses.

A UK-wide bonus scheme for all chief police officers was introduced back in 2004, with salary grades reduced with a view to the difference being accommodated through performance-related bonus.

With public anger continuing to boil over about bonuses, both in the public and private sectors, Mrs Graham has confirmed that she feels it is not right to seek a bonus.

She said, “My personal view is that the bonus culture does not sit comfortably with public sector organisations and in this difficult climate I have made it known that I will not be seeking a bonus.

“Fife Constabulary is a successful force that, in working with others, has achieved year-on-year reductions in crime and disorder and is focused on tackling the issues that matter most to local people.

“As chief constable my ambition is to take policing closer to the communities of Fife and my performance will be measured on the delivery of the policing plan, a key priority of which is the force-wide rollout of the community engagement model.”

Arrest Monbiot?

30/01/2010

Norm has more.

Councillor Terry Kelly: Force ‘Them’ to Live as Denis Avey Volunteered For

27/01/2010

Today is the 65th Anniversary of the opening of Auschwitz-Berkenau by advancing Soviet troops. One recent discovery is the story of 91 year old Denis Avey (pictured right with his sister on the outbreak of war), a British PoW being held at the satellite camp of Monowice.

He befriended Jewish inmate, Ernst Lobethall (pictured top) who passed on the address of his sister, Susanna who had escaped to London before outbreak of war. A coded message to her resulted in a delivery of chocolates and cigarettes possible under rules of PoWs, which Avey supplied to Lobethall in order to barter for warmer clothes which undoubtedly saved him during the death marches as the camp was evacuated in the face of advancing Soviets.

(more…)

Parents Call for Dismissal of Caithness Headmistress

27/01/2010

Castletown Primary

This week’s Caithness Courier reports on a mass complaint from parents of pupils at Castletown Primary School, and calls for the dismissal of headmistress, Sheila Malcolm.

Shortly before the Xmas break-up, it is reported that “extreme soiling” was discovered in the girls’ toilets used by Primaries One through to Five: this was not the first occurrence, according to school staff.

[…]

In her letter to parents following the incident on December 21, the head teacher said there had once again been “an unfortunate situation regarding extreme soiling in the girls’ toilet”. She added that in order to prevent cross-infection and to ensure no child was left in an uncomfortable condition for the entire afternoon, it was decided it would be “in all the children’s best interest to check all the girls’ underwear”.

She also urged parents to talk to their youngsters and reassure them that if an accident happens and they notify an adult “they will be dealt with sympathetically”.

[…]

Parents are reported as being typically “furious” and no longer trusting of Malcolm. I have no knowledge or links to the school, so do not know of Malcolm’s performance otherwise; but some parents interviewed implicitly stated she have previously been held in high regard.

The principle objection appears to have been that inspections took place in front of those other children being inspected. Although this was an extraordinary situation, and one which the staff placed effort into handling sympathetically, I can appreciate that this was highly crass.

One parent was quoted as saying “a child soiled their underwear the teacher would have been able to detect the culprit by sense of smell”. Barring a close inspection which would have been even more traumatic, I doubt this very much.

Does Martin Amis Still Smoke?

25/01/2010

From The Daily Telegraph.

(Hat Tip – Mr. Eugenides.)

Cllr Terry Kelly: the Jews Need Another Holocaust for Sympathy

24/01/2010

Labour Councillor Terry Kelly represents Ward Four in Paisley North West. He is a socialist, although what stripe of socialist is unclear.

He blogs as ‘Councillor Terry Kelly‘ and comments on Comment is Free as ‘cllrterrykelly‘.

He also has a line in accusing his detractors of suffering from mental illness – which, bizarrely, has made me feel sorry for Iris Robinson – as a recent shindig at Harry’s Place showed.

He even believes he can taste political methods in a lemon or glass of wine.

I support the boycott and here’s the reason why; I can taste Apartheid in an outspan lemon pie. I can smell the Verwoerd in a Capetown Sherry wine; I support the boycott all along the line.

Whatever you say, Terry.  If that happened to me, I would assume I was coming down with either a migraine or schizophrenic episode.   You do realize that the first multi-party elections in South Africa took place in 1994?

He uses “Israelis” and “Jews” interchangeably, and appears to believe for Jews to expect sympathy is to return to threat of an oncoming genocide.

Don’t buy Israeli goods; don’t have dealings with Israel; don’t visit the place; ban sporting contacts with them; shun them for the vile racists they are; force them through an economic blockade to do the decent thing. Force them to act as they once did; when their treatment under the Nazis won them the respect and affection of most of the world; many people like me remain livid at the Behaviour of the Israeli State; behaviour that has made many of us move from being massively sympathetic to the suffering of the Jews to being livid at the way they continue to treat the Palestinians.

for as long as I can remember I have never knowingly bought anything that was from Israel; nor have I ever knowingly given any kind of succour to their settler state;

Well, Terry, your computer is almost certainly running on an Intel chip developed at the Technion in Haifa. You can stop blogging now.

UPDATE – Over at Chez Kelly, he states that the Guardian registration was a forgery, as was the visitation to Harry’s Place.   Based on this, I would be prepared to retract those claims by me that they were himself.

He has been granted a guest post at Harry’s Place to discuss this and expand on the comments on his blog which I discussed above.

I hope he has kevlar lined shoes and shin-pads.

Stephen Sizer: Hebrews 8-13

24/01/2010

The Revd. Dr. Stephen Sizer is a man who believes malicious blogging (as defined by him, presumably) is a violation of the Eighth Commandment (in his Bible), and offers his own ten pieces of bull for Pastors to follow:

  1. Pastors should speak on the Eighth Commandment and its corollary injunctions against calumny and detraction;
  2. People should be warned that what they read on blogs is not necessarily true;
  3. Any anonymous blog or unsigned response has the weight of an unsigned letter and so should be quickly dismissed;
  4. A blog that is particularly vicious toward persons can be indicative of psychological illness, or simply an evil person, and is therefore suspect;
  5. Any blog that is unedifying and demeaning to another person should not be read. It is the equivalent of pornography;
  6. Responding to these calumnious blogs, even for defense of the individual or for clarification, only encourages the offender and prolongs the life of the calumny;
  7. Those who suffer calumny on anonymous blogs are, for the most part, better off enduring it. Seeking to correct misrepresentations usually has the effect of keeping controversy alive and adding to its interest value;
  8. While reading such blogs is damaging to its target (since it causes unwarranted negative speculation about another’s character), it also hurts the reader since it causes scandal, sowing pessimism and despondency;
  9. Calumnious blogging is a serious offense against God’s law. Those who engage in it are jeopardizing their immortal souls and the souls of others;
  10. For anyone to make a judgment concerning a person’s character based on what is read on a negative blog is to be a formal cooperator in the evil perpetrated by the blogger.

    As I discussed yesterday, Sizer appears to have posted what was equivalent to pornography on Living Journey, maintained by an Australian Christian blogger Vee; stating that Seismic Shock, another blogger had been cautioned by British Police for observing Sizer’s association with attested Holocaust Deniers and antisemites, as well as his own overtly anti-Judaic theology.

    But, there is more. In his most recent blog missive, Sizer invokes the story of the Christian Messiah’s approach to Jerusalem in discussing the separation barrier which brought a halt to wave-after-wave of Jew-murder attacks.

    It is ironic that if Jesus were born in Blackpool he would have no problem getting from Jericho to Jerusalem today. But because he was born in Bethlehem he would not be able to make the journey to the Mount of Olives, let alone join the Palm Sunday procession into the Old City. Like thousands of West Bank Christians he would be unable to visit Jerusalem today. He would be turned back at a military checkpoint – because he was born in Bethlehem.

    This is false witness, both as to why individuals would be refused access and as to the completeness of this refusal. It is also catachresis: irony does not mean paradoxical or unfortunate coincidence. Sizer’s co-complainant against Seismic Shock – the Rev. Dr. Anthony McRoy of the Wales Evangelical School of Theology – was being hugely ironic when he spoke of Christian charity whilst comparing Hezbollah’s pursuit and murder of Israeli Jews to Yehoshuan sacrifice: it is just that I do not feel like laughing.

    Sizer goes on:

    Dusty roads through dramatic scenery were as common then as now, indeed little has changed. Israeli checkpoints, barbed wire, military settlements and the Separation Barrier have replaced the Roman garrisons but it is still Occupied Territory.

    I suppose this updating of anti-Judaic polemics from the suggestions with pogroms at Eastertide from McRoy’s speech to a Khomenist theological skool to presenting Israeli Jews as the baddies of the Nativity Myth (as I discussed here) is a progression of sorts.

    Yet, it is not without its difficulties. First, just as with Sizer’s comparison of Christian Zionists to supporters of the Children of Hagar (Galatians 4:21/6) begs the question of what he thinks of Arabs in general and Arab Muslims specifically, there is the question of who he believes it was who Pax Romanica was oppressing in the region, and who rebelled.

    Hint, it was not the Christians.

    That said, I am not minded to call Sizer and McRoy antisemitic cunts.  The female pudenda is a wonderful and interesting object.

    UPDATE – Modernity speaks of the Barbara Streisand effect as this story is picked-up across the blogsphere. Bit unfortunate in view of Sizer’s suggested Sixth Rule of blogging.

    Is Mark MacLachlan in Meltdown?

    23/01/2010

    As I discussed earlier, it is being reported that the former constituency office manager of Mike Russell, Mark MacLachlan has been arrested and charged with breach of the peace.  This relates to e-mails allegedly sent to the former following the latter’s identification as the scabrous blogonym, Montague Burton.

    An individual whom I strongly suspect is MacLachlan has appeared in the annotations box for my own missive with a bizarre sneer that I am “incredibly well uniformed” (I think this means the opposite) by repeating what is in every news outlet: namely, MacLachlan’s arrest.

    The reason I suspect it is the soi-dissant Big Cheese himself is that he posted as himself making similar remarks at LibDem Voice (for some reason, assuming readers would be surprised to know he had friends LibDem friends).  In response to Fitaloon’s matter-of-factly discussing MacLachlan’s arrest, an anonymous poster – with strikingly similar prose to t’others – has blustered in to take issue with Fitaloon’s use of  “had” and insist that MacLachlan’s blog has been running for six weeks.

    What an odd fellow.  Especially considering saying “had run x blog” does not necessarily preclude continuation.