Welcome to my random mostly topical blog.
I hope you enjoy it it whatever capacity you feel necessary!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Pope says gay marriage is a "threat to humanity's future."

"Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined "the future of humanity itself."

""This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he said."
 I'm not sure really where to start with this. I'm not sure what his idea of the traditional family is but it's certainly not the nuclear family. If the idea of the nuclear family ever existed it certainly hasn't for fifty plus years.
   Secondly I'm not sure I'm ready and willing to take lectures about values and the attack on values from someone who protects paedophiles and child rapists.
   The idea that homosexuality and gay marriage effects society is daft. It doesn't and wouldn't effect society nearly as much as people think. To be honest society and marriage is more likely to be under threat from divorce and infidelity and unless someone can prove it is influenced and caused by gay and gay marriage then obviously concerns are completely overblown.
Sadly he's not alone. From the same article:

"One leading opponent of gay marriage in the United States is New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whom the pope will elevate to cardinal next month.

Dolan fought against gay marriage before it became legal in New York state last June, and in September he sent a letter to President Barack Obama criticising his administration's decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage.

In that letter Dolan, who holds the powerful post of president of the U.S. Bishops Conference, said such a policy could "precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions."

So not only are there other idiots who hold this view but they are in a fairly powerful and influential position. This is incredibly worrying and a destructive attitude to have. It is wrong in so many ways and yet the blind and the ignorant continue this attitude.
  I guess the logical people can just watch in disgust and horror and just call them out when the chance arises. One thing I won't stand for though is lectures from the Pope of all people.

What's also sad is just how many of the US Republican candidates for the US Presidency hold these views or views that are similar. People like that shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the biggest job in the land. Thankfully that homophobic fool Michelle Bachman is no longer in the race, however Rick Santorum holds similar views which is why I am at moment hoping he'll drop out next.



How do they do it?

Two stories now the likes of which will make you facepalm so hard you'll give yourself a concussion.

1) Papa John's employee accused of racism after slur is printed on receipt.

This was the news that an employee for the pizza company "Papa John's" had put "lady chinky eyes" on the receipt of a customer.

"‘Papa John’s acted after PR rep Cho, 24, posted the bill on Twitter alongside the message: ‘Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t ‘‘lady chinky eyes’’.’
Several hours later, the message had gone viral and Papa John’s apologised for the racial slur on its Facebook and Twitter pages."

Said employee has now been fired and the company are trying to reach Ms Cho for an apology.
   I realise standards for fast food chains are rather...well...relaxed, but if you let stupid people work for your company that is the sort of thing you'll come to expect.


2) Naked man spotted in clothing advert

A clothing company released an advertising poster which showed four young (trendy looking) children on a beach. Sounds good right? Well no, not if there's a naked man in the background.
   The advert for La Redoute shows the man in the background who must have wandered into shot as the picture was taken. But how was this not noticed before the advert was released?

Here is the picture in question, see if you can spot the naked man:

 "A spokeswoman for La Redoute said: ‘We are looking at how this mistake has occurred internally. La Redoute are working on it to get an explanation.
‘Again, La Redoute presents its apologies to customers and Internet users.’
 Mistake or publicity stunt? Hmmm


Antony Worrall Thompson Caught Shoplifting

So TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson has been caught shoplifting from Tesco's.
"The 60-year-old said he was “devastated” by his “irresponsible actions” and that he would seek treatment after security staff caught him stealing cheese and wine.
Worrall Thompson was arrested and given a police caution after he was captured on camera not paying for items at a self-service checkout at the store in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire" 
Of course this led to countless jokes being created and spread throughout Twitter and jokes website "Sickipedia."

 "The Anthony Worrall Thompson diet, cheese and wine .....followed by porridge."

"There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Unless you're using the Anthony Worrall Thompson recipe book."

 And finally:

 "I went to see Ready, Steady, Cook the other day. It was fantastic.

Antony Worrall Thompson absolutely stole the show."

 Not to mention referring to his show now as "Ready, Steady, Crook."




Oooh Ah Cantona say Oooh ah (President) Cantona

So former professional football player Eric Cantona wishes to run for President of France. He is currently seeking the required amount of signatures to be endorsed so he can move on with his campaign.

"The footballer, who would need the backing of 500 elected officials by the end of February to run, has sent a letter to French mayors describing himself as an "engaged citizen" and asking for their support.
"This engagement obliges me to speak, more earnestly than usual, but also with a keen sense of my responsibility, at a time when our country faces difficult choices which will be decisive for its future," said the letter.
In his letter, printed in the Liberation newspaper, Cantona denounced the limited opportunities for young people in France and social injustices which were "too numerous, too violent, too systematic", the newspaper said."
But even if he was to get he five hundred signatures required, in April the first round finishes and from what I understand only two candidates go through to the next round.
   Then again if a former Hollywood actor was able to become President of the United States then who knows, perhaps a former footballer like Eric Cantona could go all the way. I must say I  am very interested in what his policies would be and what people's reaction to him will be.
   Time will tell.

And if his election campaign goes bad.....



Thursday, 5 January 2012

Divide and Rule for Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott surely is making more work for herself.
   Last night on Twitter she made a comment which one might either mistake for sarcasm and humour or a rather misguided comment.

  It began with Bim Adewunmi, another Twitter user, commenting on the use of the term "Black community" on the news.

"I do wish everyone would stop saying 'the black community' though. WHICH ONE?"
And then:

"I'm saying that the use of 'black community' in media is often lazy way of generalising."
Then shortly after she posted:

"Clarifying my 'black community' tweet: I hate the generally lazy thinking behind the use of the term. Same for 'black community leaders'."
Cue Diane Abbott's response:

DA: I understand the cultural point you are making. But you are playing into a "divide and rule" agenda.
BA: Maybe. I find it frustrating that half the time, these leaders are out of touch with black people they purport to represent.
DA: White people love playing "divide & rule" We should not play their game #tacticasoldascolonialism

White people love playing divide and rule? Is that even true? Either she was being incredibly ironic or she was trying to use and absurd comment to make a point.
  She then went on to say:

"Ethnic communities that show more public solidarity & unity than black people do much better #dontwashdirtylineninpublic"
So she's clearly trying to make a point about the black community and integration and it's relationship within London and around the country, however she did it badly.
  I still am confused as to what she meant by saying what she said. Of course she deleted the tweet but not before it had been retweeted by someone I follow.
  "White people love playing "divide & rule" We should not play their game." What does that mean, can anyone tell me? Also, can someone please explain what her intention was with that statement?

Anyway she's now trending at #dianeabbot if you wish to follow the drama.



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Exit right Michele Bachman?

It is getting pretty close to crunch time for those who are running to be nominated Republican candidate for the US Presidential election. The two who came out top were Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, the former winning by the narrowest of margins.
   At the bottom however things were very different. Michele Bachmann only gained 6,073 votes, which was only about 5%.
  From the Financial times:

"Ms Bachmann did not signal any intention to bow out of the race following her poor performance."
The overall table of results looks like this:

Iowa caucus result
Candidate Number of votes
Mitt Romney 30,015 (25%)
Rick Santorum 30,007 (25%)
Ron Paul 26,219 (21%)
Newt Gingrich 16,251 (13%)
Rick Perry 12,604 (10%)
Michele Bachmann 6,073 (5%)

So as you can see, Romney only beat Rick Santorum by eight votes. A photo finish, but very important nevertheless.
  But it's not really a great result for Michele Bachman. In fact it's so bad even Sarah Palin thinks she should "call it quits." When the air headed "hockey mom" Sarah Palin thinks you should call it quits you know it's an uphill struggle.
  Frankly I have little sympathy. Michelle Bachman is a conservative buffoon, and most importantly she is a homophobic and so is her husband. The pair shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the White House purely for that very reason.
  Needless to say, I am very glad to see that she is doing poorly. I look forward to hearing she has dropped out of the race.

An interesting article in "The Washington Post" is titled "Where did Michele Bachman's Mama Grizzlies go?" In it, it describes the highs and lows of her campaign thus far to be elected Republican nominee.

"There’s no question why a liberal woman would not care for Bachmann, or at least her policies. She is aggressively pro-life, promises to abolish “Obamacare,” and has called for the military to draw up war plans to bomb Iran. But why aren’t conservative women supporting one of their own?
Iowa voters-- both men and women-- told the Des Moines Register that they just don’t see Bachmann as up to the job, no matter her gender. Bachmann was considered the least knowledgeable on the issues of any candidate running for president tied with Gingrich in the Register’s latest poll on the question of who would be least likely to bring real change."
And another quote:

"But more detrimental to Bachmann than the prominent GOP women who are not endorsing are the everyday Republican women who say they’re not voting for her. In Iowa State University’s latest poll of likely caucus-goers, Bachmann was again polling in the single digits, with slightly fewer women (7.2%) supporting her than men (7.3%). Ron Paul, on the other hand, had a huge gender gap, with far more women (31%) supporting his candidacy than men (22%.)"
It's an interesting article and worth reading:


Interestingly though some still believe she wouldn't be suited to the role as President because the country is not yet ready for a female president. An interesting sentiment, I wonder what the national attitude would be to such a thing. I personally do not see why in this age such a thing would be counter productive.

All this is food for thought, however one thing I am sure of is that Michelle Bachman is definitely not the sort of person who should be President of the United States. So I hope to see her dropping out of the race very soon.



Justice for Stephen Lawrence?

After eighteen long years, justice has finally been done for Stephen Lawrence. Two of five men who have been accused of his murder for almost as long or perhaps for longer than he's been alive have finally been found guilty and sentenced.
   David Norris was sentenced to 14 years and three months. Gary Dobson to 15 years, two months.

Because the defendants were not yet eighteen when they committed the crime they had to be still tried as juveniles, however the parents of Stephen Lawrence seem very understanding, even going so far as to say they understand that "the Judges hands were tied."

"A totally innocent 18-year-old youth on the threshold of a promising life was brutally cut down in the street … by a racist, thuggish gang. You were both members of that gang. I have no doubt that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes."
Addressing Dobson, he said: "You are now 36. At 17 years and 10 months you were very nearly 18 when you murdered Stephen Lawrence."
The judge said under rules at the time of the killing in 1993 he must sentence both men as juveniles to be detained at her majesty's pleasure with recommended minimum life terms.
In Dobson's case he sentenced him to a minimum term of 15 years and two months. Dobson stood with his hands behind his back and stared at the judge as he made his remarks.
To Norris, 35, the judge said he would impose a minimum term of 14 years and three months.
Under the current law which is encompassed in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, if the crime had been committed today, both men could have expected to receive a minimum term of 25 years as juveniles committing a racist knife murder."
But there are still doubts about their guilt:

"But Dobson's mother continued to protest that her son was innocent. Speaking at the front door of her home in Eltham, south-east London, after arriving home from the Old Bailey after the verdict, Pauline Dobson, said: "He's innocent. We are absolutely devastated as a family – devastated.
       "My son is innocent and one day we will prove that.
I really don't know what we are going to do but we will find a way to prove he is        innocent. Ask all the police who have been involved in this case – every single policeman says Gary never did it."
 The case was revived from being a cold case after forensic evidence which previously had been missed or overlooked had been found and deemed acceptable to use in a trial. There are of course doubts about this evidence with some saying that the evidence could have been tampered with, however I believe that without proof that it actually has been tampered with, the theory that it could have been tampered with simply isn't enough in my eyes.

"The prosecution had relied on new forensic evidence after an earlier case was dropped and a private prosecution by the Lawrence family against three men - including Dobson - failed.
Scientists conducting a review of the case in 2007 found a tiny bloodstain on Dobson's jacket that could only have come from Mr Lawrence. They also found a single hair belonging to the teenager on Norris's jeans. The scientists recovered the material from evidence the police had held all along using advanced techniques which were not available to the original case scientists.
   Dobson and Norris denied murdering Mr Lawrence and said their clothing had been contaminated as police mixed up evidence over the years. Detectives spent months establishing the movements and handling of the exhibits since 1993 - and the jury were told that contamination was implausible."

  They are claiming their innocence however now some might say the odds are against them. Of course some might say that the odds have been in against them for some eighteen years, with various media sources calling them out and accusing them, the Daily Mail in particular. Now the Daily Mail is doing it's very own victory lap, no doubt before going back to reporting on the usual cack they report on.
   What I will say though is that I don't condone by any means the way the media treats suspects. We still have an "innocent until proven guilty" system in this county and yet the media, specifically the tabloids still sometimes portray the suspects as guilty. They should be reminded that it is not up to them to decide who is guilty and who is not, regardless of what information they have. It is down to a court, specifically a judge and jury. This is something that must be remembered.

  That said, I have faith in the justice system when it works or when it is perceived to have work. I have faith in the Crown Prosecution service who decided the DNA forensic evidence was sufficient to go to trial, so I can only hope that it proves to be a correct decision.

Either way, lets hope this brings the Lawrence family a step closer on the arduous emotional road that they are on.




Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Seasons Greetings (Belated)

Hello to all my followers and anyone who reads this!
  I would like to wish you a (rather belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you all had a very nice holiday season with nice presents, good food, nice drink and general Christmas cheer!

 Alas though it is now over for another year. I'm not sure about you but I'm back to work today.

Nevermind, onwards and upwards!

In other news, a friend of mine has started up his very own blog! He's a politics major so he already has one up on me.
  His name is Matt Dolman and this is his blog:


So there you go!

Expect new entries to my blog very soon!
Thanks for tuning in!