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False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty

From which today’s QOTD was taken. Debunks the trumped-up statistical survey on which one of the current campus-rape scandal-stories is based. (I assume that Miss LeFauve’s story eviscerating the reported “study,” which Mr. Morrissey cites and which is NOT TO BE MISSED, as it covers quite a bit more ground than Mr. Morrissey’s précis, is accurate. –Nowadays I feel obliged to include that as a standard caveat, since so much on all sides of various aisles turns out to be full of mouldy Swiss cheese or worse.)

False data and the moral panic that follows: a threat to liberty

posted at 2:41 pm on July 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start this topic with the latest in a long series of debunked claims resulting from studies that are later discovered to be either incompetently conducted or flat-out fraud. Reason’s Linda LeFauve dismantles one of the key bases for the supposed epidemic of “rape culture” on college campuses, a study published in 2002 by University of Massachusetts-Boston professor David Lisak. This study, LeFauve notes, has informed current White House policies on Title IX enforcement [pdf] as well as documentaries and books on the subject of college rape. It had at least an indirect impact on Rolling Stone’s debunked UVA campus rape hoax from last December.

It’s also based on shoddy research and deception [pdf, Lisak, "Statement to U.S. Civil Rights Commission...] , as LeFauve discovered when researching the study. Despite claiming to have conducted the research himself, Lisak actually derived it from student theses on another topic entirely — adult survivors of child abuse, using non-random samples mainly consisting of UMB employees and non-resident students:….

“Read the Whole Thing.” Oh, and here are the first two paragraphs of Miss LeFauve’s article “Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources”:

David Lisak’s serial predator theory of campus rape has made him a celebrity. Once a virtually unknown associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, his work is now cited by White House officials and reporters for major newspapers.

His influence is evident in the recent documentary The Hunting Ground, and the producers continue to promote his work along with their film. In Jon Krakauer’s new book, Missoula, about sexual assault at the University of Montana, Lisak’s name appears more than 100 times.

…. [SNIP]

Quote of the Day, July 31, 2015

Due process exists to protect people from mob rule and moral panics, as well as to protect us from those who would stoke those panics for their own political purposes.

–Ed Morrissey, “False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty.”

The Case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra – for which the World is not ready…

Yes it is one of the tantalizing cases Dr John Watson alludes to.

The World may still not be ready for that but from Norway we have probably the strangest crime of the century. Yup, the beard hair-piece of Norway.

Man faces jail after gluing his beard to someone else’s head to create a toupée

Not only am I a bit vague as precisely what law was violated here, neither it would appear is the Norwegian prosecutor. There seems no real hint this was an assault. It is was, I’d guess, drunken idiocy between two idiots. And if that was it then the very naming and shaming of this bizarre merkin-making duo is punishment enough. More to the point if getting pissed and doing something stupid was against the law then half the population would be in The Clink. I’d be picking oakem in Strangeways – the most awesomely terrifying building I know although they now call it HMP Manchester. Still Strangeways. There are worse prisons in England such as the dungeon at Wakefield where they keep a bloke who killed two fellow inmates and attempted to eat the second one’s brain with a spoon in much the same manner a normal person would eat a boiled egg. Anyway he is in a plexiglass cage in the manner of Hannibal Lecter. Forever.

My point being there is a difference. Now I think Norway has a much more “liberal” criminal justice system than the UK so why jail this fairly harmless nutter? Especially when nobody can really figure out exactly what law he transgressed.

I think we have too many laws anyway. Why do many countries make FGM specifically illegal and then do nowt about it? It would appear to me to be a fairly covered by GBH if not attempted murder.

But what law is someone who glues their beard to another fellow’s bonce breaking.

Now on the other side of the World we have more idiocy. In Xinjiang, China they have jailed a bloke for 6 years for growing a beard. Apparently the Chinese authorities are promising cash to those who ‘fess up on their neighbours for this heinous sin.

The planet is insane and if it is insane in a little long-standing liberal and democratic country and a massive authoritarian state half a World away then this is more viral than 1D losing Zayn. This a global pandemic of idiocy.

Jail folk for murder, rape, theft and such but what one chooses to do with one’s facial hair is hardly a matter for the courts and anyone who thinks it is is insane, evil or both.

I mean for God’s sake shouldn’t a prosecutor in a C21st European State have bigger fish to fry than an improvised beard rug? And Satan alone knows what the Chinese are playing at.

Time for an honest debate about rape statistics

UVA Rape Protests

I’m sure we’ve all heard about the bogus statistics touted by Radical Feminists about 1-in-5 college students being raped and thought “That’s bullshit”, but as good rationalists, who prefer to make their arguments based upon evidence, didn’t have up-to-date data on which to reject the Rad Fem narrative.

Well – the US Department of Justice have recently published updated data and even with the distortions of modern rape reporting basically says “That’s bullshit”.

new report on sexual assault released today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault. In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data. And the real number of assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than one-in-five.

The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.

College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized

Actual rape is a terrible crime which I condemn utterly, but the divisive way that Rad Fem’s are using rape to push their false narrative of rape culture is quite literally tearing Western society apart, to such an extent that even when actual rapes occur and a woman’s life is destroyed, a growing portion of the male population is increasingly suspicious, due to the “Cry Wolf” problem.

College reactions to criticism and political interference from the Obama Whitehouse are only exacerbating matters, specifically when you have “targets for dealing with on campus rape” and it is already in reality as rare as hens teeth, you inevitably end up creating a McCarthyist environment in which all males are treated with suspicion and College Kangaroo Courts hold inquiries which would put Stalin to shame.

If this continues, then we will see US Colleges, which are already overwhelmingly female,  become virtual deserts of male presence, some of which is exacerbated by the ever increasing costs of a US university education and the fact that there are far more programs and scholarships available to women and especially minority women than there are men.

Is this how the US finally goes into decline, because of a false narrative proposed by people like Anita Sarkeesian and supported by the Obama Whitehouse? Will the 2020′s return segregation to the US in the form of mandated male and female colleges?

I certainly hope not.

The DOJ Report in Full

Dolores of — Lures? A “What I Should Have Said” Story

Over at Libertarian Home, Rocco has put up “The Parable of the Lures and Fishes.” This reminded me of a hook that has been stuck in my craw for some years, and I find myself lured into venting. Hence this infuriating tale. Fellow Felines, sharpen your claws and gather round.

For close to a score of years I have had occasional bouts of war with hordes of vandalistic raccoons who think it clever to tear holes in my roof and set up housekeeping in my attic, destroying whatever is up there, including the insulation. This would have resulted in Total War, except that there are very important laws prohibiting Total War against raccoons, the poor defenseless things. I mean, I certainly feel for the homeless, some of them anyway, but, well, think 410 A.D. & ff.

As a result, there are ongoing great waves of invasion. At one point the Licensed Trappers put a trap (enclosure trap, cage snaps shut if critter isn’t careful, no harm to coon, who then enjoys a pleasant stay of several days at a lovely Sanitarium and Spa — observation, medical treatment if necessary, company’s own water, meals free, all mod. cons. — before being released into the wild, at least 50 miles away) — Ahem. Yes, put a trap right next to the entry the latest gang had torn into the roof. One of them took the bait and was trapped, I tell you, TRAPPED!!! He disapproved of this and sent a loud SOS to Dolores Umbrage, who has resided next door for a quarter century (seems like a quarter of a millenium) and whose raison d’être is to Snoop & Snitch. Antennae quivering with excitement, she got it loud & clear, and when the trapper came to remove the raccoon, she came over and gave him jolly what-for.

I discovered this as she was walking down the driveway toward her own place. I asked the trapper what was going on. He explained.

As this was the third or fourth instance of Dolores’s executing her mission at our expense, and creating entirely unnecessary legal troubles — one of them seriously damaging — I thought I should have a talk with her. I went and asked her wotthehell. She said, I kid you not:

“That poor thing was screaming in that cage, which is too small for it, and the trap was put there to LU-U-URRE him! He wouldn’t have been there otherwise. It never should have been up there in the first place.”

This left me utterly nonplussed. I wish I could report that I replied assertively with something intelligent, but as she is a vindictive b**** who loves causing real trouble for people (and not just us!), I didn’t want to tell her exactly what I thought of her. I should have told her the obvious: The trap was THERE because it’s directly in front of the door to the current Raccoon Hotel. “How about I send ‘em over to your house, honeylamb? How about you house the poor dears for awhile. I hope you know a good roofer.” Good grief!

I delivered a brief statement on the necessity of tolerance when people must live close to one another (well, it IS related!) and went back home. The trapper was just finishing up. He says their company gets calls every day from Animal Control, who have been notified by one or another of Dolores’s spiritual brethren of just such dreadful acts by the trappers. He said Animal Control is used to this and doesn’t take it seriously.

What a relief.

They are barely even pretending these days

We are entering a very interesting period in public life.  Now I am not one that looks back to a halcyon golden age when government reports always held government to account.  The infamous Widgery report is proof of that.  But it seems that of late, the whole thing is getting more shameless.

Cameron recently claimed that the Wanless report into historic abuse cleared the Home office.  Of course it did no such thing.  It merely said they could find no evidence that the missing files had been lost deliberately.  I’m not sure what they were expecting to find.  MI5 couldn’t find any evidence either.  Considering the suspicion was that MI5 were using video footage to blackmail senior political figures, its unlikely the spooks would have said “Yes, we knew these cunts were raping kids, but god it was a useful stick to beat them with, so we thought – fuck it”

In the USA we had the ludicrous situation where the IRS, when accused of serious wrongdoing ‘lost’ two years’ worth of e-mails.  Try that as a defence if you aren’t the government.  Do we really think they would have lost two years of records that completely exonerated them?

Then we had the FIFA report that clears FIFA.  Only the report’s author said it was a travesty and disowned it.  So now what?  Well probably nothing.  I heard a senior football administrator type figure saying it was time to “move on”  Code for’ ignore’ obvious criminality.  UEFA could of course say “Publish the full unexpurgated report or we are leaving.  Try even staging  world cup without the Europeans.

And now we have Mr Cameron’s latest anti-terror proposals.  I had always thought of him as a fat social democrat, turns out he’s a creepy fascist.  The Government wants to stop British jihadists returning unless they agree to strict conditions.  Mr Cameron said that British nationals would be unable to return to the UK “unless they do so on our terms”. If not, they will face a temporary exclusion order of two years, with the possibility of another being imposed after that.  This is utterly remarkable.  It amounts to “if we suspect you do something (ill-defined) abroad, that we don’t approve of, you are guilty of it and aren’t coming back, unless you confess”  So let’s examine this:

Does this apply to anyone who joins a foreign army/fighting force?  Okay ISIS bad, got it.  What about the FSA fighting Assad (the people we wanted to arm last year?) Criminal or not?  What if you join the FSA as a medic?  What if a Brit of Syrian origin from an Alawite family went join the Syrian army against ISIS, what if they joining Hezbollah also fighting against ISIS in Syria?  What if you joined HAMAS, notionally the government army of Gaza, would this be okay?

What if a British/Iranian joint citizen did a year in the Iranian navy?  I was in school with a Welsh kid who went to Afghanistan in the 1980’s to fight the Russians (really), is he liable to arrest?  Is it only a religious thing?  If you go to join the (secular) Tamil tigers should you be arrested?  Should Mahal mums be worried?

Unlike some other countries, Britain does not have an effective law prohibiting its citizens from fighting for foreign armies, so as far as I can see, joining any state organisation from the IDF to the Syrian army is okay.  The latter being particularly mad, because you could be doing more or less exactly the same thing Hezbollah is doing in Syria, but in the latter case, I think you could face trouble under this new proposal.   This proposal seems chaotic and liable to random and subjective application. Far better as Dominic Grieve suggests, to prosecute people if they break the law and release them if they are found not guilty.  (And it will be very interesting to see how this new law is drafted, will it specifically apply to war, or will it be a catch-all “anything we don’t like” clause?)

The whole rational basis for public life seems to be imploding. It was always implicit that the law was rational and it applied to everyone.  If this ceases to be the case, it ceases to be law in a meaningful sense and becomes rule by fiat edict.

And now we have this (very vague) Met police statement that suggests senior figures in the 1980’s weren’t just raping kids, they were killing them as well.  We can really trust this who government thing huh? Never mind, there’ll be another report along in a minute.

Cybersecurity and the NSA

Panel discussion from last March, by members of the Federalist Society (that would be the Good Guys’ scholarly law society, as opposed to the American Constitution Society, constituted by the Bad Guys–a.k.a. “Progressives” and “Libruls”–in reaction to the evil awfulness of the Good Guys). Long, but worth it. Pros and Cons of the NSA’s warrantless data collection on Americans, including Constitutional, legal, and practical issues; and a little about the FISA Court.

In particular, Prof. Randy Barnett is his usual cogent and interesting self, and the third gent, Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, is an absolute hoot. The set of presentations is most interesting, and there are good points and food for thought.

Description and cast of characters below the video.

Description:

Published on Mar 25, 2014

The NSA acts pursuant to broad statutory authorities, and has interpreted those statutes to enable vast data collection programs. Two programs in particular, programmatic surveillance of the content of communications and bulk collection of metadata have become the subject of heated public and scholarly debate. Are these programs consistent with the NSA’s mission to gather foreign intelligence and to defend U.S. government information systems? Have the leaks about these programs jeopardized national security, or have they enhanced public accountability? Is there a better way to strike a balance between privacy and security?

The University of Florida Student Chapter hosted this panel discussion during the 2014 Annual Student Symposium on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

Panel 1: “CYBERSECURITY AND THE NSA”
–Mr. Stewart Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
–Prof. Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center
–Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
–Moderator: Chief Justice Ricky Polston, Florida Supreme Court

University of Florida Levin College of Law
Gainesville, FL

Diplomacy amidst the wreckage and the rhetoric

Malaysian PM Najib on MH17

Although not a fan of Malaysian PM Najib Razak, his approach to the MH17 disaster has been more diplomatic than the angry rhetoric of both the US and the UK. Indeed I would go further and say that it demonstrates the difference between Cameron and Obama, who are simply politicking and the governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands who are attempting to recover the bodies of their citizens and understand why MH17 is spread across 8-miles of a Ukrainian war-zone.

(more…)

Learning To Think Like A Progressive

Steve Goddard tells us how.

Learning To Think Like A Progressive

Posted on June 23, 2014 by stevengoddard

Progressives do everything they can to drive young men insane, by repressing all normal male behavior and telling teens that they are destroying the planet by driving their car.

Then when teenage boys go completely insane and kill their peers with knives, cars, explosives and guns, progressives jump to the obvious conclusion that the madness could have been prevented by punishing duck hunters.

Google, The Grauniad, various sorts of Times, and now … the OED

Sad to see the OED is just as full of propaganda as the Usual Suspects, including the above. And it don’ spik-a da Englees so good no more, neither. See the dreadfully ungrammatical sentences that once-revered “dictionary” now uses. The OUP should be ashamed of itself, it should. I quit using Oxford sometime last year (I do have the Compact OED print edition, 1971, but it’s a bit of a chore since there’s not room for it at my workstation, a.k.a. the kitchen table; also, the print is reeeelly teensy). Nowadays I use Webster’s from 1828 or 1913, the earlier preferably, but sometimes both. Merriam-Webster is less than stellar, and Webster’s College has been a joke since college.

And as long as I’m b**chin’ anyway, Word 97 included “Encarta” as its dictionary. “Encarta” was not written for anybody reading beyond first-grade level.

I wasn’t able to copy the images in The Blaze’s article, q.v., nor at the linked sites, but I hunted up the OED’s definition of “bigotry,” and it’s (currently) just as the original image shows. I’ve set it off from the text between dashed lines.

Why Some People Are Googling the Word ‘Bigotry’ and Not Liking the Result

Jun. 13, 2014 4:00pm Jason Howerton

Google the word “bigotry” and the definition provided links the term to “right-wing” ideology. The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein was the first to point out the “shocking way” Google uses the word in a sentence.

___________________________________________________

Definition of bigotry in English:
bigotry
Syllabification: big·ot·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈbigətrē

/
noun

Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself: the report reveals racism and right-wing bigotry
—————————————————–

However, before you rage against Google, it should be noted that the definition apparently comes directly from the Oxford Dictionary.

Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell points out there are other sentence examples from Oxford:

“There is nothing amusing about snobbery, racism, bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia,” “Intolerance and racial bigotry is a destructive force that can create tensions in local communities,” and “Empty churches may well be empty because of the image that we are presenting narrowness and bigotry and prejudice.”

Interestingly, Google also provides a graph showing the steady decline of the usage of the word “bigotry.”

[The graph is presented here, at the source.]

This could be due to the increased use of words like “racism” and “homophobia,” both of which have seen dramatic spikes based, according to Google.

D. Greenfield / Sultan Knish: The Green Socialists of Mars

A most interesting, longish piece in which Daniel Greenfield discusses the place of Climate-Alarmism, and of turn-of-the-20th-century SF, in what one might call “The Project for Social Change” (cue the Usual Suspects). Follow the Kitties to Zanzibar: Read the whole thing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Green Socialists of Mars

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog — 14 Comments

We live in a strange world in which the weather is a subject of furious political debate. People have been arguing about the weather ever since the first rainstorm caught the first man without the umbrella that he did not yet know how to make, but they didn’t hold political debates over it.

For the last fifty years, the anti-weather side has been insisting that the world is headed toward a Frostean apocalypse of ice or fire. …. The end of weather was here.

[ ... ]

The original error of climate researchers was their assumption that planets were more fragile than they truly are and could be undone by a nuclear exchange or even by a few coal plants. Carl Sagan, who had done much to popularize unscientific paranoia about nuclear winter and global warming, warned that the Gulf War’s oil fires would lead to a miniature nuclear winter.

They did not.

The mingling of philosophical paranoia over a godless universe and political pacifism disguised as science shaped not only Sagan’s musings, but the entire ideology of weather apocalypses which derived from the conviction that ungoverned man was bound to destroy his environment.

[ ... ]

Socialist science fiction had become a booming field in the late 19th century. Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward had envisioned time travel to a Socialist American utopia in the year 2000. It was a bad book, but a popular bestseller because it used the frame of pseudoscience to depict Socialism as both a practical model and inevitable. …

Novels such as “Politics and Life in Mars”, “Unveiling a Parallel”, “To Mars via the Moon”, “A Prophetic Romance” and “Red Star” envisioned culturally superior Martians demonstrating their advanced Socialist societies with income equality, planetary labor unions and pacifism to the human race.

In the Russian “Red Star,” the Lowellian canals are a Communist triumph over inhospitable nature anticipating the USSR and Communist China’s disastrous dam projects. The German writer of “Two Planets” envisioned the advanced Martians invading Earth to impose their superior Socialist society on human beings.

The Martians, like Global Warming, were a tool of radical social change.

[ ... SNIP]

The War against Eastasia: Theatre: The Paranoid Style in Libertarianism

Single Acts of Tyranny proposes to tyrannize us by destroying our fondest dream, which is that hell is the creation of the Devil which takes the form of bringing to Humanity that most desirable of conditions, happiness and joy — O hell, World PEACE, happiness and joy — by denying us everything that any human being could possibly need or want. In this case, the sense of physical sweetness that sugar brings us.

Now along comes Perfesser “Nudge” Sunstein, who says, “No such thing”: It’s all the woolly-minded Paranoid Libertarians, who broadcast to us the Sirens’ wail in the form of warnings against such things as slippery-slope arguments, plus four more dreadful paranoid ploys.

On the other hand, the Comments to the articule (what an apt typo! think I’ll leave it) seem to be running rather heavily against what they see as the Prof’s muddying of the waters.

Actually, it’s my observation that as soon as you let the meaning of words (that is, their meaning in Standard English, since there does have to be a standard for interpretation somewhere or “it’s deuces wild”) — as soon as you let the meaning of words become unmoored from their core meaning in Standard English, you are deep into the territory of the Slippery Slope and worse. Mr. Whittle did a wonderful illustration of how this works, on a Trifecta a few years back. If you have a “standard” as opposed to “basic” (but still paid) membership, I think it is, you can still watch it.

But I’m O/T there. The point is that ANY argument can, in my experience, be stretched to prove anything whatsoever, if you have just the teensiest bit of imagination. And Lefties are loaded with it, as long it informs them that their plans will work so well that they should just naturally have the final say.

Go, read — including the Comments, until you get bored: there are 288 of them so far, some meaty — and be Enlightened.

PS: Acts, no offense. That first line is my idea of humor. I do like your idea of putting 5 kg. of sugar in jail, though. Maybe it work to help me lose a little around the hips. :>)

On the worship of little tin gods

St. Edward of Snowden, patron saint of whistleblowers

In part this comes down to SAoT’s recent post on the death of Nelson Mandela, but mainly from an argument with Perry de Havilland over at Samizdata who appears to be so utterly blinded by the “what” of St. Edward of Snowden’s revelations that he is unable to ask the fundamental question of “why” did he do what he did.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that the truth has come out about the NSA’s activities and if Snowden honestly felt that the way he did it was the only way that it could have been done then fair enough.

The problem is I find that the way that Snowden has gone about his revelations has been distinctly dubious.

This may be just the capricious nature of fate ruining the best laid plans of mice and men, but I consider that Snowden’s deliberately outing himself on the front page of the Guardian (when he could have revealed the necessary information without doing so), to be somewhat questionable.

I am uncomfortable with the fact that he is hiding under the coat tails of a country which would probably have killed him if he had committed the same offence there (as they did with Alexander Litvinenko)

I am uncomfortable that he has potentially carried US state secrets into Russia and, if so,  potentially revealed them to their state security apparatus in return for asylum in Russia.

I am uncomfortable about the sheer volume of information that he has in his possession, which he now appears to be either releasing in dribs-and-drabs to keep himself newsworthy or alternately holding back in some vain attempt to keep out of the clutches of the US Government by blackmailing the NSA from a safe haven in Russia.

Now I am, as some of you will know, a paranoid and suspicious son-of-a-bitch by nature and so it is entirely possible that my natural scepticism is preventing me from seeing the inherent beatitude of our glorious brother Snowden who shines his light of truth into the dark corners of the world.

If the general consensus is that I am being unreasonable, I promise to make amends by wearing a tinfoil hat and sitting in the corner murmuring quietly for a week (as if! Can you imagine…? :-) )

Excuse me Officer…

“Could you tell me the time please?”

“Certainly Sir, it’s 11.38am precisely”

“Er… are you sure Officer… It’s pitch dark?

“Are you calling me a lying effing Pleb sir? You are so bleedin nicked!”

Remember, The Government is not your friend, and that goes double for its enforcement arm.

Trogger*

The Daily Wail is up in sanctimonious arms about a “notorious internet troll” they have exposed.  Why is the Wail’s blood up?  Because uncompromising blogger Old Holborn verbally slaughtered a couple of sacred cows that no one dare tell bad taste jokes about.  And it caused the twatterati to descend into a frenzied virtual lynch party.

This is the face of one of Britain’s most notorious internet trolls.

As his alter ego Old Holborn, Robert Ambridge is responsible for a series of vile and offensive Twitter posts that have brought him death threats.

Apparently death threats are not as vile and offensive as taking the micturation out of a taboo subject.

Thousands were outraged when Ambridge, who appears on his Twitter page with his identity disguised by a plastic pig mask, tweeted about the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. He posted a picture of two overweight women and claimed ‘this is what crushed the 96’.

Whereas the millions who have never heard of OH and are too busy having a life to tweet probably couldn’t give a stuff.

Moral outrage.  The most persistent bane of our post normal society.  A dangerous threat to free speech.  Is OH offensive?  I’d say yes, having read his blog on and off over the years.  Sometimes I agree with what he says and on other occasions I think he’s a git.  I wouldn’t issue a death threat to shut him up though no matter how offensive his remarks.  Nor would I be insisting that “something must be done” to silence him.  If he wants to be a git making gittish remarks designed to annoy authoritarian gits then that’s his prerogative.

Ambridge, 51, a recruitment consultant and father of six from Braintree, Essex, also made disgusting comments about the murder of James Bulger which deeply upset his mother. But an unrepentant Ambridge claims people who are offended by his comments have only themselves to blame.

Yes, being offended on the behalf of someone you’ve never met has become a full time sport for the perpetually affronted brigade.  My reaction?  OH is being a controversial git gleefully poking what he knows is going to be a hornets nest to provoke a reaction.  The adult thing to do, if you are offended by him, is ignore him, not give him the oxygen of publicity.  But it seems we are not dealing with adults and that includes the journalists and the police.

‘It is not my responsibility what other people find upsetting. I didn’t target anyone. I didn’t send an email. They chose to read what I wrote. If they don’t like it, they should turn it off. I don’t care what people find offensive.’

Because making crass remarks might be offensive to those prone to outrageous bouts of herd apoplexy but it is not an offence in law.   It certainly isn’t a hound ‘em and flog ‘em out of gainful employment offence.  Oh wait, yes it is.  People have the right not to be offended.  By anyone or anything.  Anywhere or at any time.  And the authorities will be there to mollycoddle wounded feelings and take names.  All in the name of social inclusivity and clamping down on naughtiness to make the world a better place for everyone who is happy being a touchy-feely herdthink drone.

Justifying his tweet about Hillsborough, he added: ‘This is dark humour. People might not like my humour but I think it is funny and it gets a chuckle.’

So where is all the outrage about taking the mickey out of fat people?  Don’t they deserve to be treated with sensitivity?  Well no, because it is socially acceptable to believe that all fat people are greedy and stupid and deserve all the derision they get even when they don’t. Unlike Merseyside’s tragically deceased they aren’t a protected species when it comes to verbal abuse or offensive jokes.  Either everyone is a target or none at all.  I’ll settle for everyone because none at all is a tyranny.

This week, the self-proclaimed ‘satirical terrorist’ will seek to justify his vitriolic internet posts in an ITV documentary called Fear And Loathing Online.

Well yes, OH can be quite loathsome when he puts his mind to it.  However the only fear in this particular Wail story comes from the death threats of the morally outraged.  OH hasn’t actually threatened anyone, merely piddled them off.  Not the same thing.  So how come he’s the only pariah in town right now?  Have the thousands of column inches dedicated to our not bombing Assad being wrong, wrong wrong, finally run out of steam?

Ambridge agreed to be filmed without his pig mask, although his face was not shown. But The Mail on  Sunday traced Ambridge to his dilapidated Victorian home in Braintree.

Matthew Hopkins journalism at its most odious.  I’ll assume that howling mobs, pitchforks and flaming torches were optional extras not available on expenses.

With an appearance more akin to Coronation Street’s hapless cafe owner Roy Cropper than a cutting-edge satirist, he initially denied he was Old Holborn.

So what is a “cutting-edge satirist” supposed to look like?  And who wrote the benchmark specifications for the physical appearance of one?  Fatuous journalism at its most infantile.

But later, speaking at the wheel of his battered Toyota vehicle, gap-toothed Ambridge said: ‘I am there to upset the apple cart. It is a form of entertainment. Trolling is like putting a fishing line in a shoal of fish and seeing what you can get.’

I can see a pattern building here.  It’s not just OH’s opinions that are low rent.  His dilapidated house, battered Toyota and crooked teeth are proof that the Wail is dealing with a lowlife scumbag who needs to be put in his place – six feet under if the Twatter mob get’s its way.  He hasn’t broken the law.  The fact that he’s overweight, white and middle aged isn’t a criminal offense although the Wail is trying to build a case on those shifting sands of stupidity.  He has six children.  So what?  I am led to believe he has worked hard to bring them up instead of relying on the state to do it.  That isn’t a crime either.

Ambridge worked for Alchemy Recruitment in Braintree until April, when he was first outed as a notorious online troll. Following his Hillsborough comments, people bombarded the firm with phone calls and threatened to burn down its offices.

OH is a blogger who stirs the smelly stuff with a big spoon and then muses upon the fruits of the fall-out.  He’s certainly not everyone’s cup of cha.  Internet trolls lead the unsuspecting into an ambush which isn’t OH’s modus operandi at all.  But then, given the inferior, poorly informed and lacking a shred of research dross that passes for journalism these days, I suppose the confusion is understandable.  After all the newfangled  blogging media has only been around for a decade and a half – give or take.  Not enough time for the legacy media to catch up.

However, the ancient practice of witch-hunting is alive and well in the twenty-first century.  Anyone associated with someone possessed of free speech a penchant for controversy an aversion to political correctness the Devil’s evil forked tongue and tail is fair game and must be purged for the good of society. Don’t you just love this popular resurgence of a deeply unsavoury hysterical historical custom?

An investigation was launched by Essex Police over tweets relating to the Boston bombing, as well as the Hillsborough disaster and the Bulger murder. Ambridge has since left the company.

So are they going to investigate everyone who believes OH is entitled to his opinion no matter what sacred cow he’s tipped?  Are they also going to investigate the death threat tweets and emails he and his former employer received?  If not, why not?  Or is it now legal and acceptable to put someone in fear of their life for upsetting the herd or because they employ someone who has?

Police said the CPS is considering whether to pursue a case of criminal communication through social media involving a 51-year-old man from Braintree.

Clearly there is a certain demographic that never found its way out of the infants playground.  It is not the job of the police to nurse bruised sensitivities and pander to the chronically indignant.  Their job is to investigate, arrest and charge actual criminals, not harass people who upset the mores of self-indulgent, social puritans. So OH caused offense with his crass and very black humour.  So what.  It’s not like he was caught red-handed molesting kiddies, drowning kittens or mugging old ladies for their bingo money.

I was disgusted by the people who happy-danced at a certain old lady’s funeral a few months back.  But they were entitled to do that. I was content to mutter “gits” at the TV screen.  I certainly wasn’t motivated to hunt them down and send them death threats on behalf of the bereaved family.  Nor do I expect the police to “investigate” the matter as a possible “hate” crime.  Yes there was hate.  A lot of it.  But was it a crime?  Hardly.

 

*  It seems the Wail doesn’t know the difference between a controversial, politically incorrect blogger and a troll, notorious or otherwise.  Hence, Trogger.

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