Newspaper Watch


So, poverty during lockdown:

‘Eat out to help out’: a forlorn dream for those struggling to feed a family
The government is spending about £500m to pay people to go to restaurants, while families in poverty get next to nothing

OK. From the report:

In our study, we found that everyday budgeting
practices that low income families previously employed suddenly became inaccessible or
impractical. For instance, shopping in multiple supermarkets for reduced items or the
cheapest prices was no longer feasible

And in response, the government has banned BOGOFs and promotions on certain foods. Cheered on by The Guardian, the paper bringing us these stories of poverty, of course.

Seriously Guardian? Seriously?

There’s nothing complex about it, scoffs someone (we’ll call him Slim Jim) every time the topic of weight loss comes up in the media: eat less and exercise more. If I’d lost a pound every time I’d heard that, my struggles would be over. Again, the implication is that fat people are stupid, lazy or lacking in self-discipline, and probably all three.

I don’t think I am lazy. I’ve climbed to 18,000 feet, run a half-marathon (OK, jogged) and written three novels (one published). I can be lazy certainly, but surely all of us can.

I don’t think I lack self-discipline. It was arguably an excess of self-discipline that enabled me to starve myself in my 20s until my BMI dropped to below 15. It is more than double that now, but I don’t believe my character has fundamentally changed.

“But that’s an eating disorder!” cries Slim Jim. “It’s different for most people!” And it’s true, I have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but then I’ve been diagnosed with lots of things.

This the prelude to insisting that obesity is about deprivation etc. At which point:

Author Clare Allan spent 10 years in a mental health institution.

So we do rather know that the lady isn’t representative of the average land whale. So why the use of the lady as the exemplar of how complicated it all is?

Them tech giant monopolies

It would probably work better if those warning us of oli- and mon- opolies knew their stuff:

much as it examined and then banned Microsoft from bundling its Explorer search engine with its other software more than a decade ago.

Explorer was a search engine then, was it? Not a browser?

Inman even links to this:

European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser. The deal today between the software company and European Union regulators ends more than a decade of legal wrangling.


Grime artist Wiley – with his half a million followers – unleashed a tirade of undiluted antisemitism on to Twitter.’ Photograph: Ollie Millington/Redferns


The main image on this article was changed on 29 July 2020. An earlier version incorrectly used an image of the rapper Kano.

Apparently they all look the same to The Guardian.

Well done to the arts graduates at The Guardian

Talkin’ baht summat like a micropancreas:

Betalin Therapeutics said its “bio-artificial” pancreas aims to free patients of the need for insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring. It is designed for people with type 1 type 2 diabetes who require insulin.

The Guardian’s arts graduates thinking that there is a type 2 of type 1 diabetes. Which is not – at least this social sciences graduate doesn’t think so – quite how it works.

Sometimes the lying is just too obvious

The Washington Post reported that on June 14, the Federal Reserve estimated that “more than $6.5 trillion in household wealth vanished during the first three months of this year as the pandemic tightened its hold on the global economy…. roughly equivalent to the economies of the United Kingdom and France combined.”

As Chuck Collins, Director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good observed “since March 18th, the US Billionaire class has seen their wealth increase by 20%, or $584 billion, since the rough beginning of the pandemic.”

Look at the time periods again.

Isn’t this a horror

It’s official: America has the most billionaires in the world, for yet another year.

OK, Google tells me it’s 614 of them.

Finland, the happiest country in the world, has just six billionaires.

Hmm, Finland’s population is 5.5 million, the US 330 million. So, adjusting for population size we’d get 360 Finnish billionaires. Sure, that’s different from 614 but not that different, is it? Also, the US GDP per capita is about 24, 25% higher, again closing the gap.

As usual, The Guardian is giving us numbers not rates and being misleading in doing so…..

China’s still more than a little archaic

The IFJ report, The China Story: reshaping the world’s media, argues Beijing is also seeking to build control over messaging infrastructure – effectively the channels by which countries receive news – through foreign media acquisitions and large-scale telecommunications ventures. The report found the decade-long campaign “seems to be escalating”.

The survey, carried out in September and October 2019, asked journalism unions from 58 countries on whether they have received overtures from Beijing. This included questions about sponsored trips, content-sharing agreements and approaches to sign bilateral agreements with Chinese bodies.

If you were to attempt to influence modern media you’d work through journalism unions, right?

Well, if you came from a corporatist society like China, perhaps you would, but it’ll not be all that hugely effective, no?

The Guardian’s latest report

They want to tell us how horrible water prices are in the US. They’ve not proofread very well:

12 Federal Poverty Level varies based on household size. As household size increases, so, too, does the PovertyLevel. The Poverty Level for a household with two persons, for example, is higher than for a household with three persons. The Poverty Level for a household with three persons is higher than for a household with two persons. Andso forth”

Not only is that wrong even when corrected it’s still an appallingly clumsy manner of explaining it.

What chill pills were invented for

But let’s come back to the main shocking statement: “I said to my people, slow the testing down please.” It is hard to overstate the sheer evil of it. The only way to stop a widespread pandemic is through mass, universal testing, aggressive contact tracing and isolation measures. To slow down testing for any reason virtually guarantees the deaths of thousands, to say nothing of broader damage to the social fabric and to the economy. To slow down testing for political reasons is particularly abominable.

It constitutes a criminal, negligent abuse of power so unspeakable and so unthinkable that there isn’t even a law, federal or international, to adequately cover the case. It is the sort of high crime that impeachment was explicitly designed for, because the potential for abuses of power by a chief executive potentate is so vast and variegated that it would be impossible to write laws for all the potential scenarios. But to explicitly slow walk testing in a once-in-a-century pandemic, just to reduce the number of publicized cases for purely political purposes, allowing the virus to spread unchecked just to keep the economy humming along a little longer and to make his own response appear somewhat less incompetent, is the essence of a high crime. Because the consequences are so deadly–potentially killing literally hundreds of thousands of his own fellow citizens and endangering the entire interconnected world–it constitutes nothing less than a national and global crime against humanity.

Ya don’t think this kid could be reaching for a new way to say Orange Man Bad, do ya?

And yes: it is a crime against humanity. It is no joke. The resulting death toll could number in the hundreds of thousands domestically alone. And it constitutes one of the greatest criminal abuses of power in all of American history by a sitting president.


How amazingly cool is this?

If the United States had a functioning political system, this Friday night’s twin revelations of malfeasance by the Trump Administration would mark the end of Donald Trump’s presidency and force a snap election

Apparently, if a President resigns, is impeached, thrown out, then you’ve got to have an election. Silly me, I thought the VP took over. But then what do I know compared to the political insiders at Washington Monthly?

Killer Facts!

James, the GOP Senate candidate in Michigan, is a West Point graduate, veteran and Detroit auto supplier who received President Trump’s endorsement in the state’s primary and is currently challenging sitting Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. He is also Black. In October 2018, Mellon mad a max donation to James, per FEC records.

Michigan ranks near the bottom in terms of how CARES Act federal relief funding matches up to the number of statewide COVID-19 cases.

Mellon also donated $50,000 in August 2019 to the Scalise Leadership Fund, a PAC supporting Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise. On that same date, Mellon made maximum donations to Scalise’s campaign and a $5,000 contribution to Scalise’s “Eye of the Tiger” PAC, for a total of $60,600 in donations to Scalise-related campaign funds that day.

The median household income for Louisiana is $47,942 per year, according to latest census data.

So bloke donates to two Republican candidates. OK.

What’s this with the relief funds and median incomes?

OK, sure, this is Salon, but, whut?

Interesting numbers

The British public’s trust in the media has fallen off a cliff in the last five years, particularly among leftwing voters, research suggests.

Just 15% of left-leaning voters now say they trust most news most of the time, down from 46% as recently as 2015, Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found.


Katharine Sophie Viner (born January 1971)[2][3] is a British journalist and playwright. She became the first female editor-in-chief at The Guardian on 1 June 2015 succeeding Alan Rusbridger.

Well done Katy, vry wll done that man.

History of The Guardian

The paper’s then editor, A. P. Wadsworth, so loathed Labour’s left-wing champion Aneurin Bevan, who had made a reference to getting rid of “Tory Vermin” in a speech “and the hate-gospellers of his entourage” that it encouraged readers to vote Conservative and remove Attlee’s post-war Labour government.[39] The newspaper opposed the creation of the National Health Service as it feared the state provision of healthcare would “eliminate selective elimination” and lead to an increase of congenitally deformed and feckless people.

That’sThat’s extreme even for a eugenicist, isn’t it?

I’m fascinated by Nesrine Malik

Another piece today about how terrible the UK is with its racism and treatment of blacks and all that.

This from:

Nesrine Malik is a British Sudanese columnist and features writer for The Guardian. She was born in Sudan and grew up in Kenya, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. She received her undergraduate education at the American University in Cairo and University of Khartoum, and her post graduate education at the University of London.

Now, I don’t know, obviously, but that would to me indicate Arab/Muslim background, not southern Sudanese black and Christian/animist.

And given what the Arab/Muslim Sudanese have been doing to the southern, black, Sudanese these recent decades it would rather grate if she were here lecturing us and not making the same sort of comments – perhaps a little stronger? – about
back home. Has anyone, for example, seen her decrying the taking of slaves in Darfur by the janjaweed?

Enquiring minds want to know…..

Oh dear Ms. Bennett, oh dear

Would they mind extending their surveys to a group of living statues active – give or take – within the House of Lords? Specifically, its generous hereditary contingent, both the current, 92 members, and the names on an official register of interested peers (thereby eligible each time death creates a vacancy).

The list of people who would like to stand for election next time there is a vacancy.

Somehow, scores of old (usually), conservative (predominantly), white (always) men (exclusively), who are equally bereft of electoral legitimacy, enjoy their gentleman’s club to this day.

Interesting, given that the hereditaries are the only people actually elected to that house…..