Nutter News

 2008



31st December   

Nazi Censors...

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YouTube under attack for hosting Nazi videos
Link Here
Nazi Jack Straw

What's a Nazi to do?
We're condemned when
we ban free speech,
and condemned if we don't

Video-sharing website YouTube has been condemned for showing video clips showing Nazi troops. The scenes, accompanied by militaristic music, have drawn millions of hits.

YouTube, which hosts film clips from the public, has 2,880 items on the Waffen SS, the most fanatical of Hitler's soldiers who were indicted for war crimes throughout WW2.

The entries have a string of Sieg Heil comments and praise for the fighting prowess of the Waffen SS, recruited for their unswerving loyalty to Nazism.

The videos, some from Nazi propaganda news reels, have angered Jewish organisations who have called for YouTube to remove the hugely offensive postings, including one that features the headline Hitler Was Right directly below the YouTube logo.

Senior Liberal Democrat MP Susan Kramer was shocked by the content and the amount of SS video on YouTube.

Glorifying the Waffen SS or Hitler in any way is sickening, she said: YouTube must understand its responsibilities. They should be hunting this type of material down if they want to maintain any credibility.

She added that YouTube has grown from fringe influence to mainstream source of content and that many young people view it alone where extremist views cannot be challenged by parents and teachers.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it continues to be very concerned about the level of racist and anti-Semitic content on the internet.

 

27th December   

Update: Tutt-Tut...

Video Universe - Buy New Release DVDs, TV on DVD, Music Videos and Much More

Nutter rails against violence in books targeted at teens
Link Here  full story: Age Ratings for Books...Publishers propsose age ratings for books

The Knife that Killed Me book Dr Rona Tutt is a former president of the National Association of Head Teachers. She has been whinging about the violent content of children's books.

She claims that children's books are becoming so violent and sexualised they should be accompanied by explicit content warnings. The guidance would be in addition to the current age brackets displayed in shops.

Her warning follows two recent high-profile children's book awards in which violence loomed large in the shortlisted novels.

In last month's Booktrust Teen Prize, all six shortlisted efforts featured a striking amount of violence and blades, judges said. Two had 'knife' in the title - Patrick Ness's winning effort The Knife Of Never Letting Go , and Anthony McGowan's The Knife That Killed Me . Both books were aimed at the 12-plus market.

Meanwhile, the seven novels nominated for the Carnegie Medal, the country's most prestigious children's book prize, were also predominantly histories about violence for the ten-plus age group.

Tutt said: The level of violence and adult themes in children's books is a worrying trend. People didn't used to write for young children in this vein. It is a new problem. Some children will be protected because they won't have the reading ability to cope. You will have others whose reading is extremely advanced but they don't have the maturity to cope with the themes.

Amanda Craig, who was chairman of the Booktrust Teen Prize said: We are all worried about violence, but I think that picking on books is the last thing someone in Dr Tutt's position ought to be worrying about. I'm far more worried about film and TV. We all grew up reading some pretty violent stuff, whether it was The Lord Of The Flies or Stephen King horror novels.

 

23rd December   

Update: The Art of Offending the Easily Offended...

Nutter 'outrage' at school art
Link Here  full story: Harrow Council Prudes...Nutter council gets all stuffy about nude art

Hijab and gun pictureAnother spat has broken out at Harrow Arts Centre over censorship in public exhibitions.

Harrow Council has been criticised for allowing a picture depicting a Muslim woman dressed in a Hijab pointing a gun to be hung in an exhibition open to the general public.

Marion Davey, an artist who takes classes at the centre complained to managers when she saw the picture had been included in the exhibition, which is made up of artwork by Nower Hill High School pupils.

She said: I couldn't believe it was there, I was speechless that someone would hang this up. I find this very disturbing and shocking, and totally inappropriate to be on the wall.

The council came under fire in October when it ordered five paintings depicting nudes to be removed from the walls of the centre, fearing they could offend children and members of faith groups.

Davey accused the council of hypocrisy for allowing the painting of the Muslim woman but censoring the nudes.

Ghulam Rabbani, general secretary of Harrow Central Mosque, called for the council to take the picture down: I am shocked and dismayed. It should not have been allowed. I can't understand why people allowed this to hang in the arts centre. It shows a Muslim woman as a terrorist, and they should have thought about Muslim women who have to go out on the street, go into their jobs, and how this picture will make people look at them. The council hasn't done any favours to Muslim women, I think it should be taken down because it could create race hate.

Councillor Chris Mote, in charge of culture, defended the decision to hang this painting: This picture is about the theme of journeys, and is a comment on the cultural pressures that impact on young women. The figure with a weapon and Arabic script is a direct reference to the work of famous Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, whose own work often explores the cultural impact of the Islamic revolution on women. This is a thoughtful comment piece by a talented Harrow teenager and there is clearly no intention to upset anyone viewing the exhibition.

The exhibition of artwork by the school pupils is showing until January 4.

 

23rd December   

Updated: Happy Winter Solstice...

Atheist poster winds up the nutters
Link Here

Winter Solstice poster The saga all started in October when Washington State gave a permit to an atheist group to display its sign alongside a Christian Nativity scene in the state's Capitol in Olympia. 

The lengthy message on the sign states in part: At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Since the atheist sign went up on December 1, Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire's telephone switchboard has been flooded with calls voicing complaints, up to 200 calls an hour. Calls mushroomed following a Fox News show highlighting the controversial sign. O'Reilly calls it political correctness gone mad.

Freedom of speech was never meant to be a license for fringe groups to insult and antagonize the rest of us, says Larry Stickney, President of the Washington Values Alliance: While we must all do our best to respect the opinion of those we don't agree with. The 1st Amendment also guarantees our constitutional right to carry on our nation's religious culture and traditions and we should be able to do so without petty harassment.

Outraged by this sign that they say mocks religions, 500+ demonstrators rallied on the steps of the state Capitol to protest. Five days after it was placed near a large bust of George Washington, the placard created by the Wisconsin-based organization, Freedom From Religion Foundation, vanished. It reappeared later in the day when a man turned it over to a Seattle radio station.

Gov. Gregoire is passing responsibility to state Attorney General Rob McKenna. She said Republican McKenna advised her that the Constitution's First Amendment free speech rights keep her from interfering with the atheist's message.

Update: A Christmas Message

23rd December. Thanks to Dark Angel on the Melon Farmers Forum

The fuss started after Fox News host Bill O'Reilly started complaining that the sign was offensive to christians and posting the governor's phone number during his show so people could complain.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xADKtEHjixI

The governor did later say in response that whilst she did not agree with their statement, she agreed they had they right to express themselves and if they were going to allow a nativity scene displaying a christmas message, she saw no right to censor an athiest message.

But it didn't end with the atheists sign getting trashed, after the sign was replaced all these other fringe groups started applying for permission to put up Xmas messages, some pro-christian, some pro-atheist and some anti-atheist. But THEN things started getting really silly, one group got permission to put up a festivas pole, the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster got permission to put up a festive message then the final straw came when The Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the God Hates Fags bunch) asked permission to put up a sign saying Santa Claus is going to send you to Hell , at which point the governor's office said they would not be accepting any more requests until they had reviewed their policy on allowing groups to display signs and messages.

The Atheist Experience, a public access show that goes out in Austin Texas, did a very good slot on this which can be seen on YouTube.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mLfpgwoJiZo

 

21st December   

Christmas Bullshit...

Anne Widdecombe 'rants' at vulgar greeting cards
Link Here

Christmas Bulshit card Nutters have expressed their revulsion at the cards, which they say are an example of how far vulgarity has affected British life.

Most of the offending cards make liberal use of the word 'fuck'. One shows a traditional image of Jesus beneath which is printed a crude joke involving genitalia. Another shows a pensioner standing next to a Christmas tree with the message: Have a fucking miserable Christmas.

Ann Widdecombe MP said: These cards are profane. Christmas is a Christian festival and should not be associated with swearing and vulgarity. Furthermore it's rotten for parents whose children can see them on open display.

Christmas is a time when everything should be innocent. This just shows the decadence we have slipped into and I would urge people not to buy them.


The Christmas cards are sold in Scribbler, a prominent chain of stationers which specialises in edgy cards by young British graphic designers, as well as the fashion store Urban Outfitters and Selfridges on London's Oxford Street.

A few customers at Scribbler's branch in Kensington High Street gave a few sound bites to the Telegraph silly story writer.

Miranda Francis, a professor at the Royal College of Music, said: I think they are dreadful. I'm not a humour fascist and I've even sent some pretty crude cards to friends for their birthdays – but Christmas is different. These are far too offensive. It's not just offensive for Christians, I think a lot of other religions find these cards offensive. I know a lot of my Muslim friends do.

Antonia Major, a student, said: I don't like them at all. They aren't in the spirit of Christmas at all. Nobody I know would send them and I wouldn't like to get one.

But Lisa Yates, a sales account manager, said: It's really down to the individual whether they are suitable or not. Some of my friends would appreciate them, but I'd never send one to my Nan.

One of the cards, produced by graphic designer Dean Morris, shows a woman carrying an armful of Christmas presents and declaring: fuck off, these are mine.

Morris said: They aren't to everybody's taste I admit, but if everybody in the world hated them I would have gone out of business a long time ago. In fact they sell very well, even if it's a tiny percentage of the overall market. They appeal to young people.

 

15th December   

Update: Bishop Spews Nonsense about Filtering...

Because countries can filter a few child abuse sites then it is easy to filter all porn
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

QuetzalcoatlThe Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for media issues, Bishop Peter Ingham, said other countries were miles ahead of Australia when it came to keeping the internet as safe as possible for children.

Comparable western countries, such as the UK, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland already have ISP filtering in operation, Bishop Ingham claimed.

In many of these countries, the ISPs themselves have initiated the filtering in order to live up to the community's expectations that illegal material or material that is harmful to children should not be available on the Internet.

It is disappointing to read reports that Australia's largest Internet provider, Telstra has said it will not participate in trials of the federal government's national internet filter.

Bishop Ingham said the ACBC held the position that whatever could reasonably be done to filter out illegal sites at ISP level, should be done: Arguments that civil liberties will be infringed by internet filtering are absolutely spurious, as the government's proposal simply aims to ensure that the material accessible on the internet is in line with the restrictions already in place in regard to DVDs or publications .

Pornography of any kind is harmful to human dignity and often degrading to women. Research shows that internet pornography is also becoming more and more harmful to marriages and relationships. In particular, every parent knows that much of the pornographic material that can be found on the internet ought not to be accessible to children.

We call on the community to get behind the federal government on this important issue and support its attempts to keep pace with the rest of the world when it comes to cleaning up the Net in a fair and reasonable way.

 

15th December   

Offsite: Democracy not fundamentalism...

Welsh Assembly Member explains importance of opposing Christian Voice
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Welsh Assembly buildingThursday was a good day for democracy in Wales. Patrick Jones came to the Welsh Assembly to read from his controversial book of poems, 'Darkness Is Where The Stars Are', whilst 250 Christians sang and prayed outside.

As one of the sponsors of this reading I felt that I had a moral duty to arrange it. Patrick Jones may have sought debate with Christian Voice and others over poems that they consider to be blasphemous and obscene but that does not justify them seeking to shout him down or forcing the cancellation of the launch of his book in Waterstones.

This was never about the poems. I did not set out to upset anybody of any religion. However, I could not stand by and allow a small minority to trample over basic rights to freedom of speech and expression. The National Assembly for Wales is the home of Welsh democracy, it has responsibilities for culture and literature, so it is the ideal place to stage a reading.

...Read full article

 

14th December   

A Date with Repression...

Iran bans popular dating website
Link Here

hamsarchat logoHamsarchat.com, an Iranian dating site which promises to help users find husbands and wives, was fined and ordered to pay back money collected from clients, the Guardian reports.

The move came after a judge consulted senior ayatollahs, known as sources of emulation , following a complaint from Teheran's public prosecutor.

The site marketed itself as Iran's most complete spouse-finding website an promised to link members with the closest person or persons to your standards in return for a 25,000 rial (£1.66) fee.

Potential clients were asked to complete a questionnaire about their, age, height, weight, occupation and invited them to state their attitude towards religion. One option was free of religion.

 

14th December   

Never Satisfied...

US nutters whinge at ratings site that includes a rating for hardcore porn
Link Here

Morality in Media logoMorality in Media President Robert Peters has sent a letter to Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) calling on them to stop providing visitors to the www.fosi.org website with direct links to websites that traffic in hardcore pornography and to stop providing these hardcore pornographers with special recognition and benefits for using the ICRA labeling system.

That letter states in part:

What prompted this letter was the discovery that the www.fosi.org website provided visitors with links to commercial websites which pay FOSI to become Associate Members. Many of these websites promote live sex webcams, phone sex lines, pornographic DVDs, and sex toys. Some of the sites also display hardcore pornographic photos and video that can be viewed free of charge and without proof of age. Of its Associate Members, the www.fosi.org Associate Members page says:

FOSI's Associate Membership exists to allow smaller companies...to support FOSI's twin aims of protecting children from potentially harmful material and protecting free speech on the Internet. FOSI is proud to count many companies...as Associate Members.

Mr. Balkam, I do not fault FOSI for attempting to encourage online sex businesses to use the ICRA rating system. I do fault FOSI for a program that is intended to confer respectability on these sordid and often criminal businesses and to imply (assert) that its voluntary rating system is preferable to and an adequate substitute for vigorous enforcement of federal obscenity laws against hardcore pornographers.

 

12th December   

Update: Adverse to Verse...

Christian Voice protest at Welsh Assembly poetry readings
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Christian Voice at the Welsh AssemblyAround 250 nutter activists have protested outside the Welsh assembly building about a poetry reading. Protesters sang hymns and some held placards

Patrick Jones was invited by two assembly members to read from his collection Darkness Is Where The Stars Are , which has already led to claims it is obscene and blasphemous.

Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, said: This turnout shows the strength of feeling of people.   We're seeing the Christian faith attacked on all sides. Now it's under attack in a seat of government in the UK.

Protesters sang hymns and some held placards before the ticket-only event inside the Senedd building.

Nick Bourne, leader of the Welsh Conservatives was at the demonstration, and was asked if he was showing his support. He replied: Yes, essentially. Our group opposed this {reading] at the home of Welsh democracy, promoting something which is anti-Christian and we would say that if it was any recognised religion.

Jones was asked by Labour AM Lorraine Barrett and Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black, who said he wanted to make sure the poet was not gagged. I think this is a good day for democracy. We've head both sides - Patrick has had his poetry reading and it's also important for people to be able to make their views known.

One of the poems that has offended Christians, called Hymn, includes a reference to Mary Magdalene having sex with Jesus.

 

11th December   

Update: An Assembly of Nutters...

Christian Voice to picket poetry readings
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Darkness is where the stars are book The nutters campaign group Christian Voice is planning to hijack a controversial poetry reading in the National Assembly.

Patrick Jones, brother of Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire, is reading from his new book in an Assembly committee room at noon.

He was invited to do so by AMs Peter Black and Lorraine Barrett after a Cardiff bookstore, Waterstone's, cancelled a scheduled reading last month.

Another Cardiff bookshop, Borders, has also invited Mr Jones to read.

But in a notice to members, which has also been posted on other Christian websites, Christian Voice leader Stephen Green said: Well, Borders are inviting Patrick Jones to read his blasphemous poetry at 8pm on Thursday at their Cardiff store.

That is on top of Jones doing a reading in the Assembly T Hywel building the same day at noon, at the invitation of Peter Black AM and militant atheist Lorraine Barrett, against the rules of the Assembly itself, which prohibit material likely to cause offence.

We are holding a Christian witness outside T Hywel from 11.30am and we shall hold another outside Borders [he gives the full address] at 7.30pm.

Religious hatred laws

Based on article from dailypost.co.uk

Tory Assembly leader and nutter Nick Bourne has objected to a controversial poetry reading in the Senedd which he claimed could be illegal under religious hatred laws.

Bourne, on behalf of Tory AMs, wrote to presiding officer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas to complain that the poet was being given a platform for his poetry: Clearly, the group don't agree with censorship of people's views and free expression. ..BUT... we feel that it is inappropriate for anyone to be given a platform to attack Christianity or any other religion in our National Assembly.

Bourne pointed to section 29 of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 which makes threatening behaviour on religious grounds unlawful.

But Assembly Commission chief executive Claire Clancy said that something more than expression of ridicule, insult or abuse was required under the Act.

She said: I am well aware by now that the works of Patrick Jones contain elements which very many people regard as obscene and insulting. But as far as I am aware there is nothing in them which could be construed as “threatening” to Christians or other religious groups.

 

11th December   

Underworld Nutters...

Victim politics and a call to ban Underworld, an iPhone game
Link Here

Underworld iPhone gameThe mother of a young woman whose life was wrecked by heroin has called for a new iPhone drug-dealing game to be banned.

Underworld , which will be available to download on the Apple phone later this month, allows players to peddle virtual narcotics in real-world locations.

The free game, previously called Drug Lords but renamed in a bid to get it past Apple's censors, has been branded outrageous by Thelma Pickard whose daughter Amy has been in a seven-year coma since experimenting with heroin at the age of 17.

Leading drugs charities have also condemned the game, saying it trivialises the harm caused by Britain's illegal drugs trade.

Thelma said: My daughter's life has been ruined by drugs. If this game is allowed to come out, impressionable kids will play it and Amy's mistake will be repeated over and over again. Youngsters like Amy are exactly the people who download and play games like this on their mobiles. I just want to help other families avoid the nightmare that's wrecked mine.

 

9th December   

Belief in Islam is Weak...

The Maldives block christian websites
Link Here

Maldives flagThe Maldives Ministry of Islamic Affairs has announced  that it would block sidahitun.com , a website promoting Christianity aimed at Maldivians.

Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari said the ministry had consulted experts to find ways to block the site, which was both in Dhivehi and English.

Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed Ahmed, known for his inflammatory sermons, agreed that all anti-Islamic websites should be banned: Although this is an Islamic society, some Maldivians' faith in Islam is not very strong. If they have access to these websites because their belief in Islam is weak, there might be a negative impact.

A similar view was upheld by scholar Sheikh Usman Abdullah who said that as the Maldives is recognised as a wholly Muslim society, all anti-Islamic activities, including websites promoting Christianity, should be banned.

Samuel Wallace, International Christian Concern's regional manager for South Asia, said he was alarmed to hear officials in the Maldives were seeking to block Christian websites: As a member of the United Nations, the Maldives has an obligation to protect the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Right. This includes in Article 18 the ‘right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

 

7th December   

Update: Nutters First...

New Zealand nutters inspired by Australia's service station porn ban
Link Here  full story: Magazine Censorship in Australia...Barely Legal winds up Australia'n nutters

British Prude signFamily First national director Bob McCoskrie is calling on Shell and BP service stations to follow their Australian counterparts' lead and ban porn magazines from their stores.

A year and a half ago Australian petrol stations sealed adult glossies and have now gone a step further and banned them completely.

McCoskrie says it is a precedent New Zealand ought to be following.

 

6th December   

Update: Imagine No Intolerance...

Freethinkers file legal action against Californian town censors
Link Here  full story: Imagine No Religion...Atheist posters cause a stir

Imagine no Religion poster The national Freedom From Religion Foundation is filing a lawsuit in federal court against the City of Rancho Cucamonga, California, for taking actions which led to the censorship of its Imagine No Religion billboard.

The nation's largest national association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) and a state/church watchdog, said City violated the Foundation's rights under the Establishment Clause and Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Foundation's pretty sign, which was evidently destroyed by General Outdoor Co. after its removal on Nov. 21, had a stained-glass window motif asking viewers to Imagine No Religion and advertising the Foundation's name and website, ffrf.org.

The Foundation had prepaid for the board and contracted for a two-month run beginning in mid-November. The Board had been up for less than a week when it was removed at the apparent instigation of Linda Daniels, Rancho Cucamonga Development Director.

The Defendants' actions conveyed a message that religion is favored, preferred, and promoted by the City of Rancho Cucamonga and its officials, despite subsequent attempts to cover up the Defendants' involvement in sending an objectively understood message disapproving FFRF's billboard, said the Foundation.

The Foundation is seeking reasonable compensatory and punitive damages and attorney's fees.

 

5th December   

Nutters First...

New Zealand nutters whinge about strong language on TV
Link Here

Family First NZ logoNutters of Family First NZ say that family television viewing is saturated with strong language and sexual content.

A Family First investigation of 15 programmes on four free-to-air channels between 6pm and 8.30pm over a period covering November 4 - 13 found a saturation of strong language, sexual innuendo, and promotion of Adult Only programmes.

We were appalled at the constant diet of sexual content and foul language on free-to-air television during times when families should feel safe when watching programmes, says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Words featured during supposed family viewing times included bitch, fuck, ass, piss, bastard, bloody, and included expressions such as holy fuck , sex with your mother , and shove bottle up his ass

Among the worst offenders was Two And A Half Men which screens on TV2 at 7.30pm. Language included son of a bitch, damn hell, ass, and constant sexual talk including references to licking, stiffy, orgasms, and masturbation.

Also of huge concern was the number of programmes which are rated for Adult viewing only screening well after the watershed time of 8.30, yet were promoted between 6pm and 8.30pm.

Television viewing is an integral part of family life but the so-called family watershed time is being called into question. Broadcasters are normalising the use of foul language and sexual content to children and young people.

This study has revealed that the term ‘broadcasting standards' is a complete oxymoron. Parents do not want their children bombarded with foul language and sexual content – yet broadcasters are pushing the boundaries with little to no retribution, says McCoskrie.

Family First is calling for television networks to take seriously their responsibility to protect families and children from material that is offensive and disturbs or adversely influences young people's attitudes and behaviour.

They are also calling for the development and enforcing of higher standards for TV, film, radio and advertising content including levels of violence, sexual content and objectionable language, and a complete overhaul of the BSA, ASA and Censorship Board with regular changing of board members after limited terms of office to avoid desensitisation or lack of accountability.

Standards should be developed according to a family perspective, not an individual rights or freedom of expression perspective, says McCoskrie.

 

5th December   

Yeah right Bill!...

New Zealand nutters whinge about child viewing research
Link Here

New Zealand flagNutters of the Society for Promotion of Community Standards are calling on the new government to dismiss Chief Censor, Bill Hastings and the Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA), Dominic Sheehan, for their role in commissioning a market researcher, Colmar Brunton, to pay children as young as 14 [to be] subjected to footage of rape, sadism and domestic violence as part of research directed by [these] two broadcasting watchdogs .

In a newspaper report Hastings admitted that the teens had indeed viewed attempted rape and graphic violence, but that much of it went over their head as they practiced a type of self-censor.

Society President John Mills responds Yeah right Bill! and asks: So if children are so skilled at self-censorship and are so oblivious of objectionable content and so unaffected by it, then why are you paid from the public purse over $220,000 per year to censor such material and demand that no adult allow it to be screened to kids, when these same kids can self-censor effectively - so you claim?

Hastings told the Dominion Post that he believed the research on child viewing of rape etc. had proved that parents paid attention to film classifications and were trusting us [the Office of Film and Literature Classification and the BSA] to make a sound call.

Kids under 18 were shown scenes of attempted rape, graphic assaults and domestic violence in the movies Sin City (R18) and 8 Mile (R13), as well as television show Heroes . Violent scenes from episodes of R16-rated Mafia Show The Sopranos, the Adults Only TV Programme Crime Scene Investigation and the R18 Brad Pitt film Fight Club were also shown to the 14 year olds.

 

2nd December   

Update: Porno Flap...

Whinges about adverts for Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Link Here  full story: Zack and Miri Make a Porno...Supporting hype for Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno poster An advert featuring the word 'porno' has been criticised after it appeared on Edinburgh's buses.

Nutters whinged at adverts for the film Zack and Miri Make a Porno for exposing young children to the word "porno". And they were further enraged when their complaint to the local authority was blocked by a firewall – because of the word "porno".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – which has received 149 complaints over the issue – ruled the posters are acceptable as neither they, nor the film, promote pornography.

Andrea Becquemont, an Edinburgh parent, said she was shocked to see the word emblazoned across Lothian buses. She described the ASA's decision as outrageous. It is an offensive word because it relates to pornography and the sex trade. I'm disgusted they would find it acceptable for children to see that word on a bus which could travel past schools and nurseries.

She e-mailed a complaint regarding the adverts to City of Edinburgh Council, as the major shareholder of Lothian Buses, but it bounced back: If it is acceptable, why won't the council accept an e-mail which contains the word porno, and why is it bleeped out on the radio during the day? Children shouldn't be asking their mum or dad what does porno mean? It's too much.

Iain Coupar, the Lothian Buses marketing director, said: We received one e-mail complaint, which we shared with our advertising agency CBS Outdoor, who are responsible for commercial advertising on our buses. He said the company believed the advert conformed to the British Code of Advertising, and stressed that it had been approved by the ASA and the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap).

He added: We regret that the advert may have caused some concern. However, we can confirm that all the adverts have now been removed from our buses.

A spokesman for CBS Outdoor said it had consulted Cap on the advert before sanctioning its use across the UK. He said: Cap judged the advert would conform to ASA guidance, which has proved to be the case.

A spokeswoman for ASA said 149 complaints had been received about the posters for the 18-certificate film. She said: It was considered that whilst the word porno and its connotations might be distasteful to some people, the actual film and advert itself contained nothing explicit and that it was not promoting pornography.

A spokesman for Edinburgh council suggested use of an asterisk in e-mails when complaining about an offensive word would get them through the council's firewall. He added: Words like casino, porno and Viagra are blocked by most office e-mail firewalls to stop spam clogging up employee inboxes.

 

1st December   

Living in Spiritual Disneyland...

Nutter cleric whinges that Disney corrupts kids
Link Here

Christopher JamisonA leading Catholic cleric has launched an attack on Disney, claiming it has corrupted children and encouraged greed.

Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, has accused the corporation of exploiting spirituality to sell its products and of turning Disneyland into a modern day pilgrimage site.

He argues that it pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture.

In a guide to helping people find happiness, the abbot, who starred in the hit-BBC series The Monastery , warns that society is in danger of losing its soul because of growing consumerism and the decline of religion.

He suggests that many people have become obsessed with work, sex and eating in an attempt to ignore their underlying unhappiness, and criticises corporations and industries that have benefited from promoting false notions of fulfilment.

Jamison, who has been tipped as a contender to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor as the next Archbishop of Westminster, targets the behaviour of Disney in particular, which he says is a classic example of how consumerism is being sold as an alternative to finding happiness in traditional morality.

While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil, he argues this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be a good and happy family.

He cites films such as Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians that feature moral battles, but get into children's imaginations and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.

The message behind every movie and book, behind every theme park and T-shirt is that our children's world needs Disney. So they absolutely must go to see the next Disney movie, which we'll also want to give them on DVD as a birthday present. They will be happier if they live the full Disney experience; and thousands of families around the world buy into this deeper message as they flock to Disneyland.

Where once morality and meaning were available as part of our free cultural inheritance, now corporations sell them to us as products."

 

26th November   

Update: Poetic Justice...

Nutters don't get their way in stopping atheist poetry readings
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Darkness is where the stars are book Welsh Assembly officials said that they could not stop a reading by a writer whose poetry has angered Christian nutters.

Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black asked Jones to read from his book, Darkness Is Where The Stars Are , to make sure the poet was not “gagged”.

Independent AM Trish Law wrote to Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas to ask him to stop the event on December 11, saying: I am disgusted that, two weeks before Christmas Day, it is proposed to proceed with the reading of blasphemous poems which are an insult to Jesus Christ and to all his followers. She was bitterly disappointed her plea had been turned down.

Assembly Commission chief executive Claire Clancy said: Neither officials nor the Assembly Commission make judgments on the nature or purpose of these events, except to ensure they would not give rise to any legal problems.

Assembly buildings are public buildings, and secular in character. It is our responsibility to ensure that events sponsored by any Assembly Members are always allowed to take place without fear of disruption or intimidation, while respecting the right to peaceful protest.

 

24th November   

Imagine No Nutters...

Atheist posters taken down after nutter pressure
Link Here  full story: Imagine No Religion...Atheist posters cause a stir

Imagine no Religion poster The Freedom From Religion Foundation's Imagine No Religion billboard, which went up late last week in Rancho Cucamonga, California, for a two-month run, has been censored by General Outdoor Co., which took down the Foundation's vinyl message.

While the Foundation has encountered billboard companies unwilling to lease boards in several locations, this is the first time one of its billboards has been censored after going up.

The colorful billboard carries the Freedom From Religion Foundation's name and website, and boasts a John Lennon-esque statement, Imagine No Religion, against a stained-glass window background.

Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor called such censorship unprofessional and cavalier: Are religionists so thin-skinned they must squelch free debate? One small freethought billboard in the immense state of California is such a threat to insecure religious egos that it must be censored?

There is nothing insulting in our message. We simply invite the public to think, to imagine a world free from religion. Think of the history of believers warring over their imaginary gods, the fact that more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other reason! The human race needs to grow up. We should concentrate on improving this world, and stop worrying about the next.

 

21st November   

MediaBitch-UK...

Mediawatch-UK petition against swearing on TV
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK logo John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK has initiated a petition against swearing on TV:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make urgent representation to the Broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, the broadcasting institutions operating in the UK and film regulators, asking them to stop the use of unnecessary swearing and bad language in their productions (including those available for downloading from websites) and to urge providers of user-generated content to take similar action.

Concern about the volume and nature of swearing on television made headlines when in November 2008 Michael Grade, the Executive Chairman of ITV, observed that swearing had become “unrestrained” and “indiscriminate”. He also stated that people do not want to hear those words.

In May 2008 the Radio Times conducted an opinion poll, which found that 69% of people believed there is too much swearing on TV. In November 2008 the Sunday Express launched a Clean Up TV Crusade focusing on the excessive use of swearing and the Sunday Telegraph conducted a poll which found that 56% of people thought the f*** word should never be used on TV.

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) in its Communications Market reports for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 found that the majority of people believe there is too much swearing on TV.

mediawatch-uk believes that swearing on TV has reached such proportions that it is threatening the English language, that it is undermining the Government's policies on Education to improve communication skills and hindering initiatives to restore respect and civility to our society.

 

20th November   

Update: Christian Voice vs Atheist Poet...

Nutters get aggressive against poetry readings
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Darkness is where the stars are book Patrick Jones, the poet who has wound up the nutters of Christian Voice with his atheist poetry has updated the current situation:

Three Welsh AM.s are now trying to get the reading cancelled at the Welsh Assembly due to blasphemy and profanity in the poems and that the UK is a Christian country and believe in freedom of speech ...but - and I promise I have not sent an email or invited them or anything!!! I think it goes to show the knee jerk reactions that abound.

Also Borders have stepped in and we will be launching the book on Dec 11th at the Cardiff store with a further reading in London's Borders - which I hope will show the way that it should have been handled and that the issue was not how Christian Voice heard of the book but their reaction and their destruction of free speech. The venues I am reading at (and I could be reading any poem - even Rowan Williams!) are being bombarded and threatened with calls and emails from CV members and some are quite upset and anxious about this.

Update: Naming the Guilty

21st November. Based on article from freethinker.co.uk

Trish Law, the independent AM for Blaenau Gwent has written to the Assembly's Presiding Officer, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas to complain about the planned reading of Jones' poems in the Assembly :

I uphold freedom of speech [...BUT...] I cannot condone the reading of blasphemous, obscene and perverted poems in the National Assembly. We are still a Christian country, yet one that acknowledges and readily accepts other religious beliefs and values. So while we would not tolerate other religions and religious leaders being insulted through verse or deed neither should we expect Christ and Christianity to be subjected to a tirade of anti-Christian rhetoric and profanity.

I implore you to put a stop to this reading on December 11 in the name of decency and humanity.

The line of attack from Conservative Jonathan Morgan is not the same but the upshot of his argument is: the reading - hosted by two AMs, Lorraine Barrett and Peter Black - should not happen:

Patrick Jones seems to think that the freedom of speech is a convenient shield to be used when under attack for being offensive. In exercising that freedom, and in respecting it, we should do so responsibly. [...BUT...] I do not believe that AMs should be wading into the debate by hosting a reading. It is a mistake and opens up the institution to the accusation that it is siding with one opinion without giving the other the same chance of expression.

 

19th November   

Turning Wit into Whine...

Christian Voice pull outrage out of the hat
Link Here  full story: Rowan Atkinson...Whingers complain about sermon satire

Rowan Atkinson as vicar The Prince of Wales' 60th birthday show on ITV provided yet another opportunity for Stephen Green of Christian Voice, to indulge in a display of offended piety.

This time it was Rowan Atkinson's skit on Jesus' miracles in the Gospel of St John. This is from a circular sent out by Green:

Rowan Atkinson mocks Christ at Prince's Birthday Show

Rowan Atkinson mocked the Bible, Jesus Christ, His miracle at Cana and His crucifixion on the Prince of Wales' 60th birthday show at 8.35pm on Saturday 15th November 2008 which was broadcast on ITV as ‘We are most amused'.

Atkinson came on dressed as a vicar and began to read from John Chapter 2. After half a verse he began to blaspheme the word of God and mock the Lord and His miracles as conjuring tricks.

Since the presentation did not change, it would not have been clear to someone unfamiliar with the scriptures what was from the Bible and what was not. Atkinson finished up by saying: He did go unto Jerusalem and he did his full act … they absolutely crucified him.

Atkinson has rightly defended political satire and his biography quotes him as saying: The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas - even if they are sincerely held beliefs - is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.

But his sketch was not political satire, nor did it criticise any idea or belief of Christianity. It was just insulting, mocking, crass and disrespectful. Civilised, decent people do not behave like that. Plainly Atkinson thinks there is not enough disrespect in our society already today.

 

18th November   

Offsite: It Beggars Belief...

The nonsense about Second Life that spews from the pages of the Daily Mail
Link Here

sex in Second Life When a little-known computer software firm created a seemingly harmless virtual internet universe called Second Life five years ago, it had little idea the game would become a global phenomenon.

Today more than 15million users have created their own characters to roam around a virtual world interacting with each other.

But while celebrities and politicians fell over themselves to endorse it and the corporate world queued up to grab a slice of this brand-new market, it also started to be cynically abused and exploited by paedophiles, adulterers and porn addicts.

For behind the hype and the headlines, there's a profoundly worrying underbelly to Second Life.

Far from being a harmless fantasy world, it is a cyber-society where conventional morality has been set aside in favour of a far darker and more worrying pattern of behaviour.

Obsessed with sex and awash with pornography, it is a 'place' where the behaviour of some of its 'residents' is so deeply unedifying it beggars belief that it could ever have been hailed as a lighthearted retreat from the real world.

...Read full article

 

17th November   

Too Many Nutters on TV...

Mediawatch commissioned survey finds too much violence on TV
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK logo Mediawatch-UK have commissioned a poll about violence on TV. Polling firm ComRes interviewed 1,010 adults earlier this month for the survey.

The poll claims that a majority of people believe there is too much violence on TV. The survey found that 64% of viewers think that entertainment programmes contain too many scenes of violence. Women are even more likely to disapprove, with 71% condemning the current output compared with 57% of men.

Of those questioned, 65% agreed that the Government has a role in reducing violence on screen, but only 47% believed that regulator Ofcom is effective in controlling scenes of violence on TV.

Mediawatch-UK director John Beyer said: It is clear that the majority of people want action taken to reduce screen violence, but the crucial question now is how broadcasters, film and game producers will respond to this latest expression of public concern about violence in entertainment.

At a time of rising social and criminal violence, manifested in the shocking level of gun and knife crime, we know there is widespread support for standards to be raised generally, especially on television."

 

16th November   

Update: Green with Envy...

Atheist poet invited to read at the Welsh Assembly
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Darkness is where the stars are book The decision by Peter Black Welsh Assembly Member to invite the poet Patrick Jones to read his poetry in the National Assembly has been condemned by nutters.

Christian Voice described the event, due to be held on 11th December, as a disgrace to the Assembly itself.

But Peter Black, who is the LibDem's culture spokesman, has now invited Jones, an atheist, to read his poems, which call for an end to Christian worship, in Committee Room 24 of the Assembly at 12 noon on Thursday 11th December.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said:

'This is a creepy event at which Jesus-hating AM's can swoon over poems packed with hatred for Christianity and which speak of Mary Magdalene and the poet having sex with the Lord Jesus Christ. They will also hear Jones' unfettered hatred of Christianity, which he has somehow managed to convince himself is indistinguishable from Islam.

'What they will not hear is Jones insult the prophet Mohammed. He dare not do that at all, let alone in the sexual way he insults Jesus Christ, whom he sees as a soft target.

'Christians in Wales must not take this lying down. We need to stand up for our Lord against this attack on His honour and on the Church itself by Peter Black. He has gone out of his way to show contempt for Christians in Wales . As he is the LibDem Culture Spokesman, that means insulting Jesus Christ is now official LibDem policy. The LibDems have thus become a political party Christians can no longer in conscience vote for or take any part in.'

 

15th November   

Update: Kaboom Debate Implodes...

MPs dismiss Vaz's nonsense about amateur flash animation game
Link Here

House of Commons logo Internet and Video Games
Westminster Hall debates
Thursday, 13 November 2008

Keith Vaz's ludicrous tirade against the old flash animation game called Kaboom came up in a Westminster debate.

Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)

The hon. Gentleman and I have both commented on the video internet game Kaboom in which people replicate the activities of a suicide bomber. It cannot be right that the makers of those games should choose such storylines to provide entertainment, especially on the internet, where our children and under-18s can access them more easily than if they were going into a shop to buy them, as with non-internet games?

John Whittingdale (Maldon & East Chelmsford, Conservative)

This is a very difficult area and Kaboom , which has been around for a little while, is an interesting example. It is a remarkably crude, cartoon-type game and is not in the least realistic, as many games now are. It is undoubtedly tasteless and might be offensive to a large number of people. I suspect that it is probably distressing to anyone who has suffered a bereavement as the result of a suicide bombing. Does that mean that it should be banned? I am not convinced that it should, because it is so crude, and other games pose greater concerns.

Edward Vaizey (Shadow Minister, Culture, Media & Sport; Wantage, Conservative)

May I make a point to my hon. Friend? In his response to Keith Vaz, he has implied that Kaboom is somehow a legitimate video game that breaches the boundaries of taste, but it is not. It was created by an individual in his bedroom. To say that we should ban Kaboom is, with the greatest respect to my hon. Friend, slightly missing the point. Kaboom is not subject to any legal constraints. It cannot be submitted to a regulator to be classified, because it is made by an individual, effectively illegally, outside the mainstream, just as violent pornographic films or child abuse photographs are. It is not at all part of the mainstream video games industry.

John Whittingdale

I agree with my hon. Friend. I hope that he noted that I did not say it should be banned, even if that were possible.

...

Keith Vaz

I first became involved in this issue when the son of one of my constituents, Stefan Pakeerah, was murdered in Leicester. The murder mirrored scenes in a video game called Manhunt . Warren LeBlanc was sent to prison, and Stefan Pakeerah is dead. Stefan's mother started a campaign about the harmful effects of video games and got me involved in it. I pay tribute to her for all the work that she has done.

As soon as I took up the issue, I became the subject of much internet abuse from those who felt that there should be absolute freedom in dealing with video games. I am not sure whether I got a website dedicated to opposing me, as my hon. Friend Janet Anderson did. I am fascinated to know who her WeeMee is.

I was once voted the third most unpopular person in the world, after Hillary Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the readers of one of the video game magazines. I suppose that I should take that as a compliment, but it points to the almost hysterical approach that the video games industry and the newspapers that support it sometimes take to anyone who manages to raise such matters in the House.

What we need first of all from the industry is responsibility and partnership. We are all on the same side. We are saying clearly that for someone who is over 18, there should be no censorship or attempt to stop them seeing or doing whatever they want as far as video games are concerned. My interest has always been to protect those who are under 18. Some are our children, of course, but it goes beyond protecting our own children. That is my only concern—not to stop adults buying games but to ensure that harmful games do not fall into the hands of young people and children.

 

14th November   

Darkness is Where the Nutters Are...

Book signing cancelled after pressure from Christian Voice
Link Here  full story: Christian Voice vs Poetry...Stephen Green accuses poet of blapshemy

Darkness is where the stars are book A poet has been forced to launch his new collection in the street after a bookstore cancelled the event because of a campaign by Christian nutters.

Darkness is Where the Stars Are is a collection of 30 to 40 poems from the Welsh publishers, Cinnamon Press.

Patrick Jones was due to sign copies at Waterstone's in Cardiff but the shop cancelled the event at the last moment.

The company said it was not a censor but felt it was prudent to cancel the event because of its duty to customers. The book remains on sale in Waterstones.

Jones said he was not going to be beaten down by religious activists, and signed copies for a small group of people in the street: I'm really proud of this book and I'm really sickened. There shouldn't be censorship of this sort - it doesn't set out to be offensive. He said he had not singled out Christianity in his poems, but was questioning beliefs in society.

Christian Voice said the book was obscene and blasphemous and called on the chain to remove copies from stores.

The national director of Christian Voice, Stephen Green, said the decision was a triumph for the Lord, not for us. The Lord had not even showed me what we should do at Waterstone's, only that it should be Christlike. Just the knowledge that we were on our way has put the fear of God into the opposition.

 

14th November   

Update: Salty Language...

Australian nutters get wound up by sex novel by a parliamentarian
Link Here

The Twelfth Fish book Australian Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner has defended a colleague's published novel over criticism it contains graphic and sexual material.

The book The Twelfth Fish - written by Labor backbencher Graham Perrett - is a perfectly reasonable mainstream novel, he says.

But nutters of Salt Shakers, a Christian ethics and lobby group, says leaders of the nation should not be encouraging reading that contains extremely graphic and sexual material.

The book contains five racy sex scenes, coarse language and racist remarks.

I have read the book and I think some of the expressions that have been made about this book are entirely exaggerated, Mr Tanner told ABC Television: If you look around at a few books here and there, you'll find equivalent sex scenes.

He described Salt Shakers as one of those rather obscure and extreme groups that sometimes get into public debate.

I suspect my mum would be a little bit worried about some of the content of the book, but it's an adult novel. It had been a long time since books with sex scenes were banned in Australia, Tanner said.

Perrett, a first-time parliamentarian, wrote the book before being elected the member for Moreton in Queensland.

 

13th November   

Update: Gone in a Flash...

Suicide charities condemn flash animation game
Link Here  full story: Suicide Censorship...UK government proposes to ban suicide information

Billy Suicide game Suicide charities have condemned an internet flash animation game in which players have to keep a depressed man from killing himself.

In Billy Suicide , players give a young man caffeine, alcohol and drugs to keep him happy.

He is also boosted by watching TV, internet porn and listening to heavy metal. But if his mental health drops, he kills himself using methods ranging from hanging to a shot to the head.

The calls follow the death by hanging on Monday of mother-of-one Lisa Dalton in Bridgend. The 25-year-old, who was battling anorexia, was the 24th suicide victim in the area in two years.

Suicide is not a light-hearted subject, said The Samaritans : Types of suicide portrayal can act as a catalyst.

A spokesman for Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide) called the game irresponsible, adding: Vulnerable young people can be influenced by online content.

 

13th November   

Update: Anti-Statues Resistance Committee...

Bangladesh muslims set their sights on art
Link Here

Bangladesh flag Rashed Ahmed paints the fiery eyes of a python on to a giant piece of white cloth in the grounds of Dhaka University, as a huge crowd of painters, actors and writers cheer the fine arts student on.

Each of those gathered then has a tilt at drawing their own symbols, leaving a personal mark indicative of the Bangladeshi cultural heritage they say hardline Muslims are determined to destroy.

Large groups of Bangladeshi artists -- including film-makers, singers and writers -- began daily protests last month after authorities removed two newly commissioned sculptures of local folk singers erected outside Dhaka's airport.

A group of Muslim hardliners calling themselves the Anti-Statues Resistance Committee complained that the sculptures were idols, which are strictly forbidden in Islam, and threatened to attack the artwork with power tools.

One of the group's leaders Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini, a former MP, says that he will demolish all statues if his party wins the December 18 parliamentary elections.

 

12th November   

MadBeyerWorld...

Mediawatch-UK get a bit of stick from gamers
Link Here  full story: MadWorld...Nutters rant against MadWorld video game

Madworld game screen shot Mediawatch-UK's autumn newsletter has just been published on the website.

Mostly predictable stuff but it does have an interesting summary of feedback in response to Mediawatch-UK comments about banning the up 'n' coming MadWorld game:

John Beyer, director of mediawatch-uk, said: This game sounds very unsavoury. I hope the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will view this with concern and decide it should not be granted a classification. Without that it cannot be marketed in Britain.

We need to ensure that modern and civilized values take priority rather than killing and maiming people. It seems a shame that the game's manufacturer has decided to release this game exclusively on the Wii. I believe it will spoil the 'fun for all the family' image of the Wii."

Within hours of these remarks being published a rain of hostile emails from gamers poured into our office telling us to "shut the f*** up", suggesting that we have "got our knickers in a twist", demanding, as though we were on trial for an heinous crime, to know what right we had to impose our "narrow minded bigotry" on them and stopping them playing an "adult" game of their choice.

Others, of a more sober character, asked reasonably why we should be so concerned about games when there was so much violence in films and on television! We were also accused us of being "cowards" for not responding properly to belligerent strictures and one ‘emailer' observed glibly that "violent acts are not a symptom of video games and films, but rather the human condition". Another said: "If you don't like violent content, don't view or use it".

Others thanked us cynically for drawing attention to the game saying they would rush out and buy it as soon as it was available. Yet others told us to focus on retailers and said that parents should safeguard their children from "adult" games.

Feature articles, grossly exaggerating the significance of our comments, were written in computer game magazines exonerating the multimillion pound games industry and headlines were achieved on Google News UK and dismissive remarks made in The Guardian newspaper. It is comforting to know that the BBFC, too, received "abusive and incoherent" protests from gamers who disagreed with their decision to reject the game Manhunt II - a decision that was subsequently overturned on appeal.

 

11th November   

Update: CPS Stand Proud...

CPS ends private prosecution of Koh's art as no case to answer
Link Here

Terence Koh's Jesus An art gallery will not face any legal action over nutter claims that it displayed an indecent statue of Jesus Christ.

The artwork was part of an exhibition at Gateshead's Baltic Centre featuring several plaster figures with erections.

A private prosecution was being brought by Christian group member Emily Mapfuw on the grounds the statue outraged public decency.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stopped the action on Monday and said the gallery had no case to answer.

Nicola Reasbeck, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: The CPS has the right to take over a private prosecution and prosecute it ourselves, take it over and stop the case, or allow the private prosecution to continue.

Having considered the evidence in this case with great care, we are satisfied that there is no case to answer. We have taken into account all the circumstances, including the fact that there was no public disorder relating to the exhibition and that there was a warning at the entrance to the gallery about the nature of the work on display.

The case has therefore been discontinued.


The statue was part of Baltic's September 2007 to January 2008 exhibition by Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, Gone, Yet Still.

 

8th November   

Update: Wasting Parliamentary Time...

Keith Vaz tries to wind up parliament over whimsical flash animation
Link Here

Kaboom screen shot Nutter MP Keith Vaz has lodged an early day motion with parliament.

EDO 2416:

That this House condemns the creation of the online computer game Kaboom which asks the player to replicate the actions of suicide bombers; believes that this game is offensive to the families of those killed by suicide bombers and devalues all human life; further believes that this game depicts an unnecessary level of violence; is deeply concerned that vulnerable people under the age of 18 are able to access and play this game; calls upon the game's creator to show sensitivity and responsibility by removing it from the internet; welcomes the findings of a new study from Iowa State University which recognises the link between violent video games and aggressive behaviour; and calls on the Government to revise its regulation of violent video games.

Vaz also brought the subject up in Parliament with a question to Harriet Harman, Leader of the House

Vaz: Has my right hon. and learned Friend had the opportunity to look at early-day motion 2416?

[The motion] refers to an online computer game called "Kaboom", which asks players to replicate the actions of a suicide bomber. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that that is offensive to the families of the victims of suicide bombings and that it devalues human life? I have raised this matter on several occasions at business questions and in other debates. What action are the Government taking to remove such material from the internet or, at the very least, to approach service providers to ensure that they take appropriate action? Children and young people will be able to have access to those games. Could we have a debate on this important matter?

Harman: The Government are concerned about the effect on children of violent internet and video games, which is why we commissioned the Byron review. That set out how we need action from parents, from the industry itself and from the Government to ensure that there is proper control of content and clear labelling to protect young children. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend's long-standing interest in these issues, which he had even before he became Chair of the Select Committee on Home Affairs. Under his leadership, the Committee has taken a strong interest in such matters. I bring to his attention the fact that on Thursday 13 November, in Westminster Hall, there will be a debate on the question of harmful content on the internet and in video games.

 

7th November   

Update: Nutter Bali Hoo...

Flash animation fun winds up Keith Vaz
Link Here

A flash animation in which players operate a suicide bomber and try to kill as many men, women and children as possible has provoked nutter outrage.

A senior Labour MP said Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game, which is freely available to all age groups on the internet, devalues human life and should be banned.

Players move a terrorist of Arab appearance along a busy street to get as close as possible to the most civilians. They then click their mouse and the bomber opens his coat to reveal grenades strapped to his body before exploding in a shower of bloody limbs.

The more men, women and children are injured, the more points the player receives.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the game contained an unnecessary level of violence and offended relatives of those killed by suicide bombers.

He also said he was deeply concerned that vulnerable users under the age of 18 are able to play the game.

The Israeli Embassy in London is also understood to have complained. Scores of Israeli citizens have been killed by suicide bombers in recent years.

 

5th November   

Kaboom...

Suicide bomb fun winds up the nutters...
Link Here

Kaboom flash game A trivial computer flash game where players score points for blowing up women and children has been branded sick and callous by bomb victims.

Kaboom – The Suicide Bombing Game features a cartoon man running around a busy market town and blowing himself up to kill as many people as possible.

The free online game, which can easily be accessed by children, shows graphic images of body parts being splattered across the town.

Yesterday, it was branded sick, callous and upsetting by the Bali Bombing Victims Group, who want it removed from the internet.

One member, Susanna Miller said: It's callous, inappropriate, irresponsible and deeply offensive. I find it disturbing. I appeal to any sites featuring this game to remove it. It's completely sick.

The game's creator writes on one website: If you find this game offensive, tell your friends! If you are deeply offended by this game then you're way too fucking sensitive and I hope you've been scarred for life.

Tory MP John Whitting­dale, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee, earlier this year chaired a report into harmful internet content.

He said yesterday: I find this game tasteless but I don't think it will necessarily start turning people into suicide bombers. But those whose lives have been affected by suicide bombings I imagine would find it upsetting.

 

1st November   

Update: Here's Looking At You Kids...

Liverpool protestors call for 18 certificates for depictions of smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Humphrey Bogart A 70-strong group of dancers and members of the SmokeFree youth group, D-MYST, marched through Liverpool in Halloween costumes to raise awareness of smoking in youth-orientated movies.

The event is part of the SmokeFree Movies Scary Movies campaign which is designed to turn the spotlight on the issue – the biggest single influence on young people to start smoking. SmokeFree Liverpool are asking UK film regulators BBFC to keep smoking out of all future films which can be seen by under-18s.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, chairman of Liverpool PCT said: This issue is a simple one, and simple action can be taken instantly by the BBFC, who already have the power to rate films which show smoking images as adult only.

The scientific fact is that more than half the young people who take up smoking say they did so because of seeing smoking in movies. That means thousands of under-18s are put at risk because of smoking images which simply don't need to be there.

The BBFC already know the facts, but have chosen to do nothing.

 

1st November   

Update: Election Cover Up...

Election posters of women banned on Jerusalem buses
Link Here

Jerusalem election poster A company responsible for advertising on the Egged bus company has refused to place a political advertisement on Jerusalem city buses showing female candidates for the city council, so as not to offend the haredi public.
The poster disqualified by...

The advertisement rejected last week by the Canaan advertising company, which is charged with advertising with the Egged bus cooperative, includes the portrait of two  women and a man running for city council on a joint religious-secular list called Wake up Jerusalem-Yerushalmim. The municipal elections will take place on November 11.

A spokesman for the company stood by the rejection of the ad. All advertisements are subject to the approval of the Egged censor, Canaan company spokesman Ohad Gibli said: In order not to offend the sensitivities of a certain public, certain criteria have been defined regarding the content of advertisements. Pictures of women cannot appear on buses that go through haredi neighborhoods, Gibli said.

Egged spokesman Ron Ratner said the bus company was never asked about advertisements with the portraits of women running for the city council, and would never have nixed them: Egged never received a query on this issue and would never have rejected such an advertisement of a public figure so long as it was positive, modest and respectable, and did not hurt public sensitivities. The Egged spokesman said he thought the whole issue was a PR ploy since the would-be city councilors never contacted Egged on the issue.

It is very sad that in Israel of 2008 women suffer such brazen discrimination, which is absolutely unacceptable, said Wake up Jerusalem-Yerushalmim spokeswoman Meirav Cohen, whose portrait was one of those appearing on the banned advertisement.

In the meantime, the ads in question have gone up on bus stations, which are the responsibility of another advertising company.

 

27th October   

Spot a Nutter...

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week
Link Here

White Ribbon During the 20th annual White Ribbon Against Pornography Week (WRAP), which runs Oct. 26 to Nov. 2, Americans are being called to speak out on the detrimental effects of pornography and inform others about ways to remove the "garbage" from the lives of families and local communities.

For one week, people are also asked to wear or display a white ribbon in solidarity against pornography.

WRAP Week is being promoted by the nutters of Morality in Media (MIM), Concerned Women for American (CWA) and American Mothers.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, director of CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute, says the pornography industry has exploded in recent years. Internet pornography has grown around 19-fold. In 1998, there were less than 80,000 internet porn sites, notes Crouse. That figure grew to 1.5 million in 2003.

Today, over 15,000 new adult movie titles are released every year, Crouse reports. Furthermore, recent figures reveal 35 million visits to porn sites from American computers every month.

Since pornography is a $5 billion industry annually, it affects us all. It harms women and children, it destroys families, and it weakens communities, says Crouse.

Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, says the United States has failed miserably at protecting juveniles from pornography.

The backers of WRAP Week are asking people to complain to businesses that distribute pornography, write letters to the editor, distribute information to the community, educate community leaders about the negative effects of pornography, contact their State Prosecutor and U.S. Attorney to complain about violations of state obscenity laws, and ask state and local legislators to curtail sexually oriented businesses.

WRAP supporters are also encouraging pastors to preach about pornography as sin in their sermons this week.

Religious institutions should also be at the forefront of efforts to make persons of all ages understand that from a 'faith perspective,' viewing pornography is morally wrong (sinful, if you will) and that use of pornography is destroying countless marriages and contributing to other harmful sexual behavior, says Peters.