>This really is an awesome dissection of the Obama administration’s continually pinning the blame for their actions on George W Bush.
Chuck Green is a lifelong lefty and registered Democrat.
>Modern police forces around the world have targets to achieve across the issues that most concern the public or, more importantly, the want-to-be-seen-to-be-tough politicians.
A British man who said on Twitter that he would blow up an airport if his flight was delayed by snow was convicted on Monday of sending a threatening message and made to pay STG1,000 ($A1,646).
Who did he send the Twitter to? Only those people who follow him, which they chose to do. It’s hardly a public threat.
Paul Chambers, 26, insisted his post on the micro-blogging site was a joke. But a judge at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in northern England found him guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message over a public telecommunications network.
District Judge Jonathan Bennett said the message “was of a menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live.” He ordered Chambers to pay the fine and court costs.
The message is not a sign of the “menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live”…the judgement is! How pathetic.
Chambers was arrested in January after he posted the message saying he would blow up Robin Hood Airport near the large town of Doncaster “sky high” if his flight, due to leave in a week’s time, was delayed.
Chambers, from Doncaster, said he made the post when the airport was closed by snow and he feared his travel plans would be disrupted.
“It did not cross my mind that Robin Hood would ever look at Twitter or take it seriously because it was innocuous hyperbole,” he said.
An airport employee came across the tweet a few days later, but security staff there decided it was not a credible bomb threat. Nevertheless, they passed the message on to police. Chambers was arrested two days before his flight was due to leave.
How did the airport employee come across the tweet? Kudos to the security staff who used more than two brain cells and worked out it was not a credible threat.
Chambers, who lost his job at a car distribution firm after his arrest, said he was considering an appeal.
This should send a chill down people’s spines. The guy lost his job because of a joke tweet? What sort of place has the UK become?
News of the conviction sent a ripple of outrage across the Twittersphere, with some users retransmitting the message: “This absurd judgement is enough to make me want to blow up Robin Hood airport”
Everyone with access to Twitter should be sending messages like the one above.
I can’t get over how insane this situation is. The bloke lost his job becasue of a joke! That’s unbelievable.
>Here’s yet another hair raising example of the intolerance of the left in the UK.
British street preacher Dale McAlpine apparently has no problem telling people that homosexuality is a “crime against the Creator.” But he got in trouble when he said that to someone who is not only a homosexual, but is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for the local police.
On April 20, McAlpine, a Baptist, was passing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” to passersby on a street in Workington, Cumbria where he had been preaching for years, according to the Telegraph of London. When a woman stopped to debate with him, McAlpine said he mentioned a number of sins listed in I Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, drunkenness, adultery and homosexuality. When the woman walked away, a Police Community Support Officer approached her and spoke briefly with her, McAlpine said. The officer then came over to McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made and warned him he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.
The street preacher said he told the officer: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator.” The officer then said he was homosexual and identified himself as LGBT liaison officer for the Cumbria police. Undeterred, McAlpine replied, “Well, it’s still a sin.” He then began a 20-minute sermon in which he says he did not mention homosexuality. But three uniformed officers arrived, arrested the preacher and put him in the back of a police van. He was taken to the police station, where officers took his fingerprints, a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab. He was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” in violation of the Public Order Act and, after seven hours in a jail cell, was released on bail on the condition that he would not preach in public. McAlpine, 42, said the incident was one of the worst experiences of his life.
“I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know,” he told the Telegraph. “My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn’t apply.” Police allege that McAlpine made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard and that he used abusive or insulting language, forbidden by the Public Order Act. Christian groups have expressed alarm over this and similar incidents, claiming the 1986 law was designed to stop rioters and hooligans and is now being used to curb religious speech.
“The police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens,” said Sam Webster, solicitor-advocate of the Christian Institute, which is supporting McAlpine. It is not a crime to express the belief that homosexuality is a sin, Webster told the Telegraph. “Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
One man was convicted under the Public Order Act in 2002 for holding up a sign saying, “Stop immorality. Stop Homosexuality. Stop Lesbianism. Jesus Is Lord,” while preaching in Bournemouth. Another was arrested in 2006 for handing out religious leaflets at a Gay Pride festival in Cardiff, but the case was later dropped.
“It would appear that Christianity, the normative faith of this country on which its morality, values and civilisation are based, is effectively being turned into a crime,” Melanie Phillips of The Daily Mail wrote in a May 3 column titled, “The British boot stamping on the face of Christian belief.”
“Surreally, this intolerant denial of freedom is being perpetrated under the rubric of promoting tolerance and equality — but only towards approved groups,” Phillips wrote. “Never has George Orwell’s famous satirical observation, that some people are more equal than others, appeared more true.”
First up, what the hell is a police precinct doing with a “LGBT liaison officer”.
Is there anything so ridiculous?
If a bunch of Muslims were walking around shouting “Death to Jews” and “Hang all gays” then would our intolerant of Christianity, gay liaison officer do anything? Anything at all?
That’s called a rhetorical question, folks.
How does the UK recover from its cultural malaise?
>People are starting to wake up to the empty nothingness that is Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership.
Regular readers will know that I’ve been banging on about his clear incompetence and lack of vision for nearly two years.
The question that we can now start pondering is this; how will history view Kevin Rudd?
Here’s my prediction:
1) Worst prime minister in history
Rudd has one thing going against him that his Labor predecessors do not and that is that he is reviled within the Labor Party as the vicious, petty, non-substance tyrant that he really is. Therefore, those people who write history – the left significantly outnumbers the right in this area – will be happy to smash Rudd in order to rehabilitate the reputation of one of their heroes, Gough Whitlam, hitherto Australia’s worst ever prime minister.
2) Lost opportunities
Left wing, revisionist historians such as Henry Reynolds and Robert Manne etc regularly attack the right for the so-called ‘lost opportunities’ of their governments. These lost opportunities are almost exclusively made up of large infrastructure projects that the left deems necessary. The Howard government chose to give back surpluses by way of tax reductions, as they should. This is anathema to the left, which believes that government spending is by definition good, as it stimulates the economy. Keynes really does have a lot to answer for. However, Rudd has been the master of left wing ‘lost opportunities’ and most recently when he chose to abandon the current Holy Grail of left wing government control of the economy – the emissions trading scheme. Historians will not forgive him for not doing a deal with the Greens.
3) Cast out and outcast
In the same way that former Labor leader Mark Latham is now an outcast from the party, Kevin Rudd will first be cast out by his senior front benchers and almost immediately become a Labor outcast. There are already rumblings in that regard. Ministers who have had to take the fall for Rudd’s policy incompetence are now leaking information to the media that it’s the PM to blame and not, for example, Peter Garrett for the insulation fiasco. Or Gillard for the rorting of the school building fund. The list goes on. Once the next election is over the knives will come out and I predict Rudd will last less than a year as leader. Once defeated, he will resign from parliament in a fit of pique and force a by-election.
4) Failure on the economy
The list of fiscal fiascos is becoming a national embarrassment. In less than two years the Rudd government has managed to munch through the massive surplus left to it and increase Australia’s debt from nil to the nearly $100 billion that the Howard government cleared away during its terms in office. Not only that but it has also announced an increased tax on profits from mining companies, which will be used to fund an increase in superannuation. Can you imagine Hawke or Keating coming up with such a negative, economy killing policy? Rudd and his advisers are completely nuts to
increase structural costs by taxing a variable revenue stream. That can only lead to deficits once the Great China Boom becomes an inevitable Bust. Did they learn nothing from the global financial crisis? Other than spending like drunken sailors, obviously not.
I’m sure there are other negative legacies that historians and political commentators will write about. Feel free to add your thoughts in comments.