Ooh ooh another quick post about Dredd (2012)


I just thought that anything about Dredd (2012) that doesn’t include Ma-Ma’s long fall to her death from the top of a Megablock while on Slo-Mo is not complete.  So here it is.  Poor Leana Headey – I hope her Game of Thrones death (if Cersei ever does die) is quicker… though it’s kinda hard to tell if Ma-Ma is actually enjoying this fall…

Also, shouldn’t Dredd have failed Anderson because she lost her gun?  She’s told right from the start that  losing her firearm would be an automatic fail.  And letting the computer-whiz kid walk – regardless of his bad treatment etc, he aided and abetted some pretty gruesome and unforgivable crimes… surely he should have got some cube time for that?  Don’t agree with me?  Then don’t suffer in silence… it’s been Web 2.0 since forever, douchebags – use the drokking Comments willya!

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The Sun apologise for “mental patient” slur! Hell must have frozen over!


In Britain we have a daily newspaper called The Sun.  It’s a tabloid, and what we in Britain call a “red top”.  Red tops tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  Every day, page 3 is dominated by a photo of a “page 3 girl”, who will be wearing hardly anything at all and will be exposing her (usually large) boobs.  Bare boobs in a familynewspaper?  Yes, I know, but don’t blame me – I didn’t invent the rules.

On 7 October, the Sun printed a sensationalised story “1,200 killed by mental patients”.   This greatly offended people with mental illnesses, their families, and just about everyone else.  The paper was bombarded with complaints and an online petition on Change.org.

Well, lots of people signed the petition (82,000 according to Rhiannon, a psychology teacher with a family that has a history of mental health illness and who started the petition at Change.org.

She wrote:

Brilliant news! Following public outcry and concern from mental health organisations, today The Sun newspaper printed a correction to their offensive front page headline which read “1,200 killed by mental patients”.

As a psychology teacher with a family that has a history of mental health illness, I was shocked and appalled at The Sun’s coverage of such a sensitive issue.

To my amazement, so were over 82,000 of you! The petition grew stronger and stronger, calling for a correction and donation to a mental health charity.

Last week mental health charities Rethink and Mind met with The Sun to discuss their coverage of mental health issues and responsible journalism. And today they have printed this correction

It’s important that this correction doesn’t go unnoticed. Time and again people with mental health issues are stigmatised in the media. It’s vital that when corrections are made, they are made publicly to end the stigma. 

The Sun’s correction reads as follows:

Clarifications and Corrections.

Further to our article “1,200 killed by mental patients” (Oct 7), we would like to make clear that the 1,200 figure related broadly to victims of homicide by people with mental illness.  This encompassed both those who were being actively treated at the time of the offence and those who were subsequently judged to have symptons of mental illness.

The Sun realises that the vast majority of people with mental health problems pose no threat to anybody and are much more likely to take their own life or self-harm  than be a risk to others.  Since our article we have been in communication with charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and support their Time to Change initiative.  We will continue campaigning to improve treatment of mental health in the UK.

Not exactly the apology that Change.org have hyped it up to be;  but, as Rhiannon wrote in her recent email, “It’s important that this correction doesn’t go unnoticed. Time and again people with mental health issues are stigmatised in the media. It’s vital that when corrections are made, they are made publicly to end the stigma.”

So yes, it’s an apology, especially when you take into account the fact that it came from the Sun.  Let’s see if their general practices change too.


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Child sex killer Dutroux to be freed


Marc Dutroux, rapist and killer of children

Marc Dutroux, the Beast of Belgium, sent to prison in 2004 for “life” (45 years under Belgian law) for the kidnapping and rape of 6 girls and the murder of four of them, is asking for “conditional release”. In Belgium, a convict can apply for conditional release after serving a third of his sentence, including time served before sentencing. In August last year there were angry demonstrations when Dutroux’s ex-wife Michelle Martin, convicted as an accomplice, was given a conditional release after serving 16 years of a 30-year sentence She now lives in a convent.

Conditional release is a controversial in Belgium, There have been appeals for the European Court of Human Rights to stop this practice. If Dutroux is released he will be pretty much as free as anyone else. He would have to wear an electronic bracelet as part of the conditions, though it’s unclear how this bracelet would stop him from kidnapping, raping and murdering more children.

Dutroux has already displayed how untrustworthy he is – in 1998 he escaped from court during a hearing – but now he insists he poses no danger and deserves conditional freedom.

His own mother thinks that freeing her son would be a huge mistake. In an interview in the French newspaper le Soir, Jeanine Dutroux, 78, said she was “certain he will start again” if he was freed.

“Marc is not ready to be released because he is still trying to blame others for what he did. I am certain he will start again. He has no sense of reality. He’s a repeat offender in his soul, as he has already proven throughout his life.”

She added “Sooner or later he will be released, but I hope to be no longer in this world when that happens.”

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Holdsworth appeal scheduled for April


Suzanne Holdsworth, who was convicted of a murder that may not have happened, is to have her appeal heard in April this year.

Last month, I reported how Ms Holdsworth’s phone privileges in prison had been withdrawn because she had spoken to reporters – a shocking attack on freedom of speech.  But there are many people who would argue that prisoners should have no right to freedom of speech.  Maybe prisoners should have no rights at all, eh?  Especially ones who are innocent…

Anyway, Ms Holdsworth’s partner, Lee Spencer, told us in this blog’s Comments that her appeal is due to be heard in April.  He wrote: “I am told its possible the case could collapse at the first sitting fingers crossed. But were keeping our feet firmly on the ground.”

Ms Holdsworth was convicted of murdering infant Kyle Fisher – she allegedly smashed Kyle’s head against a banister with a force akin to a 60mph car.  But a leading pathologist has rubbished this claim.

Baghdad Neighbourhood Watch: bringing peace to the streets with an AK-47



Check out these respectable young men.  They are members of “sahwa” (awakening) – the Iraqi version of Neighbourhood Watch.

The sahwa groups are made up of what the US military authorities call “concerned local citizens”.  The streets of Baghdad are dangerous, and the police are pretty ineffective.  So the US military fund these sahwa groups to police their own streets.

There are 72,000 members of 300 sahwa groups in Iraq, and these numbers are increasing.  It is “Iraq’s own surge” and it is having an effect.  Attacks in Baghdad are down 80% since November last year, murders down 90%, and vehicle-borne bombs reduced by 70%.

The sahwa initiative works because each group’s members are patrolling the streets where they live; they have a real interest in combatting crime, as opposed to the police who generally are most concerned with staying alive and maybe receiving bribes.

But, by funding these groups, the US Army is saying it’s okay to be a vigilante.  The police are governed by regulations (even if those regs are regularly breached).  The sahwa are not governed in the same way.  They patrol the streets in large groups, armed with assault rifles, questioning any strangers they come across.  Is this really the way to bring peace to the streets of Baghdad?

The US military obviously believe this is the right solution.  But American soldiers are there for a tour of duty, then they’re rotated out.  They don’t have to live on those streets full-time.  Their wives and mothers don’t have to negotiate those streets to get to the market.

If Washington,DC was “policed” like  Baghdad, maybe the generals wouldn’t be so blase about what they call “security”.  Security for who?

“I’m close to finding Madeleine,” boasts lying private eye


At the end of November, Francisco Marco, the overweight boss of the Spanish Metodo 3 private investigation agency, claimed that his boys were on the verge of finding Madeleine McCann.  Marco said that the Portugese police were bumbling and inept; that Madeleine was “definitely alive”; and that very soon, he would find her.

Well, ten days have passed since his claims – and there’s still no sign of the missing girl.

The fact is, the hunt for Madeleine is beginning to seem pretty hopeless.  Kate and Gerry McCann still say in public that they’re sure their daughter is still alive.  But in private, they must now start to face up to the fact that they very well may never see the girl again.  A resident of Praia da Luz, who has been involved in the case since near the start, said:  “No one is any nearer knowing what happened and we are tired of retracing old ground.”

I’ve been as hopeful as anyone that Madeleine would turn up.  But I fear that it is a murder case, and that the body – and the killer – will never be found.

But Fransisco Marco is still acting like the ace sleuth.  He is still making boastful claims to the press.  Claims that never seem to lead to anything substantial.  He just keeps parrotting the line that he’s “sure” Madeleine is still alive.

Well, Kate and Gerry have said that they are sure she’s not dead.  But they never pretended that they had any reason other than blind faith to believe that.  Marco, however, says it with the air of someone who is privy to secret information.  He constantly makes out that he knows more than he’s saying.

It’s time for the McCanns to accept that Marco knows jack.  They’ve been “sold a pup”.

Fransisco Marco: latter-day Sherlock Holmes?  Or a quick-talking operator with pockets full of empty hands?

Possible victim of miscarriage of justice punished for talking!


Suzanne Holdsworth, from Hartlepool UK, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of killing a baby by smashing his head against a banister – a crime that a leading neuro-pathologist claims could not have happened.

At the trial, it was alleged that Holdsworth had smashed two-year-old Kyle Fisher into the banister with a force of 60 mph.  But Dr Waney Squier, leading pathologist, says this scenario is nonsense: if Kyle’s head had hit the banister like that, his skull would obviously have been fractured.  But Kyle suffered only superficial bruising consistent with a minor accident.  Dr Squier said Kyle likely died of a seizure – to which he was prone – and the pathologist is disturbed that he was not called on to testify at the trial.

The BBC asked Holdsworth how she would cope with being in prison for the third Christmas in a row.  She replied:

“I go on the phone, pretend I’m fine because my babies and my partner are having Christmas. I go back to my room and I cry and I cry and I cry.”

Then the prison punished Holdsworth for talking to the BBC!  It seems prisoners don’t have the right to be upset about being separated from their families!  She has been disciplined for talking to the BBC  and now has severe limits put on her ability to contact her family!

It is widely believed that Holdsworth is not guilty of any crime.  A report on the case by journalist John Sweeney is to be shown tonight (Thursday, 6 December) on Newsnight, BBC2, at 2230 GMT.

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