lookingforlissa

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Posts Tagged ‘Across the ocean’

A small ray of sunshine from London

Posted by Lissa on August 16, 2011

Mike sends this feel-good snippet of the day (subscriber only):

“They come to our shops,” one man told the London Daily Mail last week, “and we fight them with sticks.” When a gang invaded an upscale restaurant, threatening customers and demanding their valuables, the staff attacked them brandishing knives and drove them out.

Of course, the subtitle of the article — “In a civilized society, people would be allowed to defend themselves with guns, not baseball bats” — is both quite true and quite depressing. Still, we here at LookingForLissa celebrate those who defend themselves in spite of ridiculous limitations on the tools they can use to do so.

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Stick a fork in her, “Great” Britain’s done.

Posted by Lissa on January 13, 2010

I saw this a few days ago but was too flabbergasted to mention it:

A wealthy businessman was arrested at home in front of his wife and young son over an email which council officials deemed ‘offensive’ to gipsies – but which he had not even written.

The email, concerning a planning appeal by a gipsy, included the phrase: ‘It’s the ‘do as you likey’ attitude that I am against.’

Council staff believed the email was offensive because ‘likey’ rhymes with the derogatory term ‘pikey’.

The 45-year-old IT boss was held in a police cell for four hours until it was established he had nothing to do with the email, which had been sent by one of his then workers, Paul Osmond.

But police had taken his DNA and later confirmed they would be holding it indefinitely.

Got that??  The word “likey” — and the newspaper actually has to explain why it MIGHT be offensive — sends the police over to nab the wrong guy.  And now they have his DNA forever’n’ever.

Sussex Police said they had arrested the businessman over ‘suspicion of committing a racial or religious-aggravated offence’.

After consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, it was decided to take no further action against Mr Osmond.

Chief Inspector Heather Keating said: ‘Sussex Police have a legal duty to promote community cohesion and tackle unlawful discrimination.

‘We are satisfied we acted appropriately in identifying the owner of the computer used and through this, the identity of the writer of the offending line.’

Police said they would hold the innocent men’s DNA indefinitely, which they said was in line with national policy.

A council spokesman said: ‘As far as we were concerned it was an offensive comment, so we got in touch with the police.’

What the hell kind of cowardly, cowering, craven children are they raising over in England??

Since when it is the job of the POLICE to tackle unlawful discrimination?

Merry Olde Englande, indeed.  Where a man can get arrested for a silly word in an email he didn’t write but whose DNA will be held indefinitely anyway.

And as far as The Law is concerned, the system worked.

Helluva world, y’all.  Helluva time.

UPDATE: And there goes trial by jury.

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Was The Economist always this left-leaning?

Posted by Lissa on November 11, 2009

I used to read the Economist much more diligently than I do today.  Back in college, it was in my mind the “right-leaning” publication I read to keep balanced.  Later on, it was the business-centric publication that I read to keep an eye on foreign affairs.  I let my interest lapse and I haven’t regularly read the magazine (or “newspaper” as they call it) for a few years.

Until this weekend.  I was on the train to my choir dress rehearsal when I realized I’d left my Kindle at home.  (AAUUGGGHHH!  Nightmares!!)  Peeved, but resigned, I stopped by CVS to buy an Economist for rehearsal downtime and the train ride back.

As I read, I was at first amused, then surprised, then astonished by the continuous leftward slant.  The first two sections yielded gems such as:

- “What’s more, the parts of the world where populations are growing fastest are also those most vulnerable to climate change, and a rising population will exacerbate the consequences of global warming — water shortages, mass migration, declining food yields.”

- “Only Chinese-style coercion would bring [population growth] down much below [8.5 billion]; and forcing poor people to have fewer children than they want because the rich consume too many of the world’s resources would be immoral.”

- “Falling fertility may be making poor people’s lives better, but it cannot save the Earth.  That lies in our own hands.”

- “One of the aims of imprisonment is to give miscreants a shove in the right direction, through job-training, Jesus or whatever does the trick.  Allowing prisoners to vote will not magically reconnect them with society, but it will probably do more good than excluding them.”

- “Serving prisoners are not numerous enough to swing many elections.  But once a government uses disenfranchisement as a sanction, it is tempted to take things further.  Consider those American states where the suspension of prisoners’ votes has morphed into a lifelong ban; in Republican-controlled Florida, for instance, nearly a third of black men cannot vote — enough to have swung the 2000 presidential election.”

- (in envisioning a poor farmer industrializing and moving towards greater wealth/lower fertility) “Now imagine you are a bit richer.  You may have moved to a town, or your village may have grown.  Schools, markets and factories are within reach.  And suddenly, the incentives change. [snip] Perhaps the state provides a pension and you no longer need children to look after you.  And perhaps your wife is no longer willing to bear endless offspring.”  (Really?  The only way to have retirement wealth is to be pensioned off by the state?  And the only reason you have fewer children is because your wife finally put her foot down and stopped popping them out?)

- “The bad news is that the girls who will give birth to the coming, larger generations have already been born.  The good news is that they will want far fewer children than their mothers or grandmothers did.”  (Thanks.  Thanks so much.)

- “Japan and southern Europe have clung to older ways, discouraging women from working and frowning on single-parent families; there, fertility has stayed low, presumably because women resist what they see as unwelcome social pressure by having fewer children.”  (That is quite a presumption.  Me, I’d assume that having one working parent versus two working parents encourage fewer children because you’re got fewer people earning money to support them.  No, they never provide any sort of reasoning or backup for their statement.)

So what gives, folks?  I used to think The Economist was perfectly middle-of-the-road.  Now, to my eyes, it has a conspicuously leftward slant.

I know that in England even the Right leans Left.  But has this slant increased in the last few years?  Or is it just that I’m looking with new eyes?

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A case of WHAT-THE-HELL! from England

Posted by Lissa on August 3, 2009

I really would like this to be an internet hoax.  Please, please someone point out the “April Fools!” from this article, because my jaw just dropped open so far it hit my stillies.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

You know what’s (not) funny?  I’m surprised that this idea got off the starting line because it’s so EXACTLY from 1984.  Even if the exercise of power was given thumbs-up, you’d think the APPEARANCE would be such a killer that no one would green-light a program like this.

So — hoax?  Anyone?

Please?

(h/t The Corner)

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Seen on the streets of downtown Boston

Posted by Lissa on July 16, 2009

A few blocks away from Downtown Crossing I did a double-take.  I mean, sure, I’ve been talking about how the chilly, cloudy, hazy weather reminded me of London, but that doesn’t mean I expect a slice of London to show up on the streets of Boston!

IMG_0617

No seriously, that’s in Boston!

IMG_0618

Of course, the driver was on the right side, meaning he was on the left side, and the back seat door handle wasn’t reachable by the driver, but even so — I wasn’t the only one taking pictures.

How odd!  Now, if only I could find a nice bacon sandwich and a pint of Kronenbourg 1664 . . .

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And they wonder why we dislike the UN

Posted by Lissa on June 16, 2009

Oh, I used to be all about the United Nations.  I really dug the idea — all nations have a voice, humanitarian projects to help the needy, international acclaim and badge of approval, all that jazz.  It sounds wise and just and correct.

The reality?  Yeah, not so much.  Turns out the UN workers in Mogadishu were taking the donated food and selling it instead of distributing it.   The article is here, but I’d rather quote Ed Morrissey:

How difficut is it to put effective guards on the warehouses? The UN personnel sold it right out of their own warehouses and helped them load the trucks. The UN has probably already lost millions of dollars in cash and food donations while its employees enrich themselves at the expense of starving women and children. And the only way Turtle Bay found out about it was to have someone outside the organization videotape the product on the black market, which shows conclusively that the UN doesn’t bother to audit their efforts, even after committing the largest fraud in human history with the Oil-for-Food program.

Who benefits from all of the black-market theft? Certainly the UN employees do, but who gets the cash from the sale of the goods? Usually in situations like Somalia’s, black market profits wind up in the hands of the warlords, revolutionaries, and terrorists — the people who cannot compete in legitimate markets. With the current anarchy in Somalia, it will be hard to pinpoint exactly where the money went, but it’s at least a good bet that the UN has funded the very people who created the need for humanitarian relief in the first place.

Again, I get why people like the idea of the UN.  I certainly did, ten years ago.  As happens not-infrequently, I wish I could go back in time and have a conversation with myself:

Liberal Lissa: Phase 1: We donate food.  Phase 2: It gets distributed.  Phase 3: The starving are fed.  Hooray!

Evil Conservative Lissa:  Gets distributed how?

LL: Huh?

ECL: Who does the distribution?  Who guarantees that the food actually gets donated to the hungry people?  Did the food get to the intended recipients?

LL: People are starving!!

ECL: I know.  It sucks most awfully.  You know what else sucks though?  Taking American taxpayer money to fund local thugs and pretending that it’s a good thing because it makes YOU feel better about the hungry.

LL: You just don’t care about starving people because you’re EVIL and CONSERVATIVE!

ECL: That’s not true, and it’s also not the point.  But I don’t see how Phase 1) taking money from taxpayers to Phase 2) give it away to thugs while Phase 3) NOT ACTUALLY FEEDING HUNGRY PEOPLE is a GOOD thing.  Enlighten me.

LL:  So you’d rather let people starve than risk having things go less-than-perfectly.  See, I told you you don’t care about the poor and hungry.

ECL: Um, people are starving ANYWAY because the program was obviously corrupt and selling the food instead of giving it out.  That’s what started this conversation.  Seeing as how people wouldn’t get fed either way, I’d kind of rather *I* still had the money.  Rather than corrupt folks in Somalia.

LL: So you don’t care about poor hungry people.  Got it.  I bet it’s because they’re black.

ECL: *headdesk*

And this little hypothetical chat doesn’t even go into the Oil-for-Food mess, the sex abuse scandals, or the general harm done by a forum that gives equal respect and legitimacy to democracies, republics and tyrant dictatorships alike.  Oy.

As for the Liberal-Lissa-10-years-ago . . . I exaggerate slightly, perhaps.  But only perhaps – I really thought I knew everything, back then, and I was NOT shy about airing my all-wonderful views. 

Having grown up a little, I realize now that I *don’t* know everything.  </massive understatement>  And living and working where I do, I rather have to keep my views to myself or get ostracized as a mouthbreathing hillbilly bigot.  It’s sometimes irksome, and yet – learning to keep my mouth shut is a Very Useful Skill, and one that was probably long overdue in the learning . . .

P.S.  It might seem like cheating to have strawman debates with myself.  I do it this way because 1) real people I might quote have no desire to be used in such a fashion, 2) they’d probably make their argument a lot more eloquently and logically in person, so it’s unfair to shortchange them, 3) I really truly did argue like this in college.  It comes back to me very easily.  Better and more fair to use myself as the epitome of arguing-from-emotion-not-fact than to ascribe it to someone who didn’t volunteer for a blog-quote.

UPDATE: Tam links and Borepatch links.  Thanks!

UPDATE: Shoothouse Barbie and Firearms & Freedom link.  Thanks!

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Food chain – ur doin it wrong

Posted by Lissa on June 9, 2009

Stupid leopard.  Cute though!

The thing eating the food - It's a food

Reminds me of this:

Fud

(h/t Best of the Web)

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Credit where credit is due

Posted by Lissa on June 4, 2009

Nice job, SecState Clinton.  I wasn’t terribly pleased with your February trip -

Mrs. Clinton raised many eyebrows during her trip to Beijing in February, when she said that, while human rights are important, they should not be allowed to “interfere” with other issues on which the U.S. and China work together, such as climate change and the global recession.

– but I applaud your recent remarks.  (from the same article)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom activists accused of downplaying human rights during her visit to Beijing in February, called for the release of all of those still imprisoned for participating in the protests and for “dialogue” between the government and relatives of the victims.

“A China that has made enormous progress economically, and that is emerging to take its rightful place in global leadership, should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing, both to learn and to heal,” Mrs. Clinton said in a statement. [snip]

“This anniversary provides an opportunity for Chinese authorities to release from prison all those still serving sentences in connection with the events surrounding June 4, 1989,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We urge China to cease the harassment of participants in the demonstrations and begin dialogue with the family members of victims, including the Tiananmen mothers.

“We should remember the tragic loss of hundreds of innocent lives and reflect upon the meaning of the events that preceded that day.”

That merits an official LookingForLissa “attagirl!”

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How wierd!

Posted by Lissa on May 8, 2009

Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.  Because isn’t it wierd that my umberlla doesn’t shade my yatch?

Spelling Bollocks

And we wonder why our kids can’t get no edjumacation?

(h/t The Corner)

UPDATE: Jay G linked.  Thanks!

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I swear you can’t make this stuff up

Posted by Lissa on May 6, 2009

I’m just not that creative!

An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).

All three are reportedly exhausted but safe on board the Overseas Yellowstone.

I am very glad  that the three men were safely rescued.

That said, the real question is — does this story more closely resemble something out of The Onion, or Scrappleface?

UPDATE: Oops!  h/t The Corner

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