Posted on  UTC 2016-07-01 02:01

16.07.2016 – Turkey: the choice

Clerical despotism or secular despotism?
Secular, every time. As least you can reason with them.

It is difficult to understand why the great brains of the western media are getting behind that unlovely creature Erdogan, who obtained a hair-thin majority and who ticks no boxes at all on the democratic ruler sheet. Neither he nor his government are our friends. On the whole, the uprising was a missed opportunity.

16.07.2016 – You ask, we answer

Pourquoi?, 'Why?' asks the deeply socialist newspaper Libération on its front page after the atrocity in Nice.

La Libération, weekend edition 16/17 July 2016

Perhaps we can answer that: ils vous détestent, 'they hate you'. And perhaps we should add that no amount of weepy hashtag grieving will change that in the slightest – au contraire, mes amis.

Despite declaring its puzzlement on its front page, the newspaper publishes in its childrens' section Le P’tit Libé an explanation of the atrocity of Nice for the little ones: L'attaque de Nice expliquée aux enfants. It was, the little ones are told, carried out by terroristes, just like all the other attacks France has had recently.

The fact that nearly all these terroristes have the same first name and that the attacks were carried out ostensibly in the name of the Religion of Peace™ is nowhere mentioned. Libération's definition of a terrorist is quite good, though, if you ignore the missing 'I-word':

Les terroristes sont des personnes violentes qui font du mal aux gens et espèrent leur faire peur pour imposer leur vision du monde.

'Terrorists are violent persons who want to harm people and hope to make them afraid in order to impose their vision of the world'. Which 'vision of the world' is being imposed here is a problem left untouched. The little ones will have to work it out for themselves. Bless!

12.07.2016 – Two charts

This cartoon, American Society, is really a statistical chart, so let's treat it as such. It appeared in the left-wing Tagesanzeiger (Zurich) yesterday.

Die amerikanische Gesellschaft, Bild: Joep Bertrams, Niederlande

This chart has been been doing the internet rounds in the last few days.

Breakdown of U.S. citizens killed by police in 2016

The first chart is a propagandist lie: a strong message that requires no thought to understand it. The second chart requires thought, having some discussion points: black Americans make up only 13% of the population of the USA, but, on the other hand, are involved proportionally in a lot more crime, which figure then again may be the result of selective policing and so on…

More worrying on the second chart is the figure of 35 unarmed people killed by the US police so far this year. That really is a scandal.

10.07.2016 – Respected journalist

We scribblers at Figures of Speech know an oxymoron when we see one

[Rachel] Sylvester is one of the most respected journalists in Westminster…

Isabel Hardman The Spectator Coffee House, 9 July 2016

09.07.2016 – Hip dysplasia

If these two were German Shepherds one would have to consider having them put down.

Hip dysplasia

08.07.2016 – Goddess

Guards! Find this goddess and bring her to me immediately!

I will, however, allow myself to be rude about the hoards of post Brexit whingers who claim to love democracy but object violently to anyone who disagrees with them. Bring it on you ranting luvvies, fat cat bankers and multinational corporations. Continue to alienate the humble voice of Middle England. Knock yourselves out calling us ill educated Neanderthals and spit a bit more venom and vitriol our way. You are showing yourselves in all your mean spirited, round headed, elitist glory, and what an unappealing lot you are. Note: you attract flies with honey, not vinegar; small wonder the majority of the country flew in the opposite direction.

Elizabeth Hurley, Spectator, Getty Images

08.07.2016 – In video we trust

The power of the people's video is working its magic in the USA at the moment as videos of police shooting to death seemingly harmless or helpless black people in the course of detaining them become available to everyone in the world to watch. There is currently rioting and lethal unrest.

Nevertheless, we have to welcome the advent of the glass box in which we now live, the smartphones, the cameras, the dashcams. Photos are one thing, videos are an order of magnitude more powerful.

Imagine how quickly segregation in the USA would have ended had its manifestations all been recorded on video and been instantly accessible to everyone. How long would the brown political troops of the Nazi movement have continued had there been relentless video inspection of what they did? How long would the First World War have lasted had there been smartphones among the ranks and the civilians? Even today, many can wipe the record of Stalin's horrors from their minds, but how long could he have continued under video scrutiny?

Today's monsters do their best to stop such activity, but its further spread is surely coming. It may be that the spread of trivially easy video recording and the billions of people who can view the results will come to be seen as one of the greatest civilising advances of human history.

The riots and the dead we are currently seeing are not caused by the video but by what it shows – and that is a good thing.

08.07.2016 – The chosen ones choose

Last month we pointed out the possible effect that the influence exercised by Conservative HQ on the selection of candidates for parliamentary elections might be having on EU Referendum preference among MPs.

Can it be that the candidate selection legacy strikes again in the choice of the party's new leader?

At the end of the parliamentary selection round for the leadership candidate Conservative MPs have given first place by a large margin to Theresa May, the person who branded 'unreformed' Tories as the 'nasty party', who voted for remain in the EU Referendum, who as Home Secretary directly presided over those levels of immigration that seeded the great unrest expressed during the referendum.

In short, the one candidate who stands for everything that the referendum rejected – one of their own, in fact.

What a surprise! Let's wait and see what the Turnip Taliban think about her.

01.07.2016 – Boots

A decade of human locomotion in a single image:


Left: boots, 20.07.2006. Right: boots, 27.06.2016

We note that:

  • The boots have given excellent service. The laces are second generation.
  • The legs ditto, still original and still working but showing signs of decrepitude.
  • The skills of the photographer, in 2006 only modest, have declined appreciably.
  • It is still possible to find places in the open where you can adjust your trousers and photograph yourself without fear of prosecution. Don't forget to crop the image before putting it online, though.

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