Wednesday, December 11, 2013
BBC receives 1,350 complaints about 'excessive' coverage of Mandela's death -- which was hardly unexpected
It would have given them repeated orgasms to be able to give high praise to a black man
More than 1,000 viewers have complained about 'excessive' coverage of Nelson Mandela's death on BBC services, including some who grumbled about a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys being interrupted.
The BBC has defended the extent to which it featured the death of the former South African president, a major news item which led bulletins around the world.
By today the corporation had received 1,350 complaints about too much coverage across its news services, with some saying the emphasis had reduced the coverage of severe weather across the UK that day.
Programme chiefs broke into a repeat of BBC1 sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys to break the news.
The BBC has defended its coverage and said Mandela's death was of 'considerable interest' to audiences in the UK and across the rest of the world.
A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation had also continued to cover other major stories.
The spokeswoman today said: 'Nelson Mandela was a hugely significant world leader with an enormous political and cultural influence across the world. 'His death is of considerable interest to our audiences at home and across the globe.
'We know that people turn to the BBC for authoritative coverage of breaking news and we will continue to provide comprehensive coverage for a wide range of BBC News outlets, across TV, radio and online, as the world reacts to his passing, reflects on his legacy, and prepares for his funeral.
'After the initial announcement we have, of course, continued to cover other major stories as they have developed.'
The news of Mandela's death dominated news coverage throughout the weekend, while Parliament today cleared its agenda for eight hours of tributes to the former South African president.
Tree wars: Now killjoy council responsible for Christmas tree dubbed 'Britain's worst' take away pub landlord's replacement
After their high street's Christmas tree was dubbed the worst in Britain, residents of Stockton Town Centre were left feeling a little less festive than others.
So, in a bid to restore the community's Christmas spirit, a local pub landlord decided to put up his own fir near the council's effort, which has been likened to 'an upside down cornet'.
But within hours of erecting the improved tree, council officials were on site to tear it down after branding it a 'health and safety hazard.'
Craig Harker was left mortified by the attention the town's tree had received, with some critics slamming it as a 'disgrace'.
With the help of some local children, the 26-year-old decided to put up a real Christmas fir, complete with tinsel, baubles and beads.
But despite being admired by customers at The George Pub, the tree was swiftly taken away on the back of a JCB by council workers who deemed it 'dangerous'.
Mr Harker said: 'A bar worker saw the council workers driving away with the tree and she called me. 'She was too late to do anything about it, as they were already leaving when she saw them.' Though the pub was open at the time, Mr Harker claims no one bothered to tell staff the tree was to be removed.
'When I rang the council I was told that it had blown over and that it was a health and safety hazard,' he added.
The landlord wasn't the only local resident who was left red-faced by the council's 'tree' which was likened to a dunce's hat and wigwam by passers-by.
'It's not good for the town to get such publicity, I wanted to do something positive. 'I am devastated, I don't understand why they could not have just spoken to me about it.'
'It meant a lot to me, I was running round trying to sort out the buying of the tree while by partner was in hospital with our newborn baby.'
Mr Harker has even offered to gift the tree to the council so they can put it back up, but is waiting for a response.
Stockton Council has said it received a report that the tree had blown over - and that workers took it away on Monday morning 'while making efforts to establish who owns it.'
The council has since tweeted that it is talking to Mr Harker, but did not indicate whether the tree would be reinstated.
Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton Council, said: 'The tree was blown over during the early hours, narrowly missing a passer-by.
'Thankfully nobody was injured but I think the CCTV footage speaks for itself really – this is not a case of the council overreacting, more a case of being sensible in light of the windy conditions. 'Our staff recovered the tree after a report that it had been propped up against a barrier.'
Stockton Council was not available for a comment this evening.
Last week the town's tree was lambasted as the country's worst, with critics comparing it to an upside down cornet and dunce's hat.
Local residents were dismayed by the effort, with some saying they would take their children and grandchildren elsewhere to see the Christmas lights being switched on.
‘Tis The Season For Militant Atheists To Whine
There’s nothing like the holidays for laughing at anti-religious malcontents being driven to madness by the thought of Christians and Jews celebrating their faiths. Crosses, menorahs, happy people with satisfying personal lives – these things drive the militant atheists into a sputtering rage.
Watching them fume is the gift that keeps on giving.
Normal atheists just don’t believe in God, and those of us who do, figure that’s between them. They respect our religion and we respect their right to have no part of it. Sure, some religious folks talk to people about their faith, but it’s not clear why someone advocating his beliefs to another is committing a terrible faux pas. After all, the believer believes he’s trying to do the recipient a favor. The proper response if one is uninterested isn’t exaggerated indignation but a polite, “No thanks.”
That’s how things should work in a pluralistic society where people believe different things. Sometimes you come into contact with people who don’t share your ideas. We call that “diversity” – not the bogus “crush all opposition to progressivism” diversity of the left but real American diversity. The key is not to be a jerk – that goes for both the person sharing his views and the person hearing them.
But jerkiness is the difference between the decent guy who’s just not feeling the connection with the Lord and the smug militant atheist who thinks that putting a fish sticker with legs that says “Darwin” on his Prius is biting social commentary.
Last year, I took my hideous terrier out after opening presents and my orthodox Jewish neighbor saw me and immediately wished me a “Merry Christmas.” And when he saw I was alone on Easter, he invited me to join his family for Passover. See folks, that’s how you do it in America.
So, spiteful little digs like the Darwin fish show us “theists” … well, I’m not actually sure what they’re supposed to show us. That militant atheists are too smart to believe in God? Sorry, my mind is not blown. What else ya got?
Do they think that their militant atheism is some sort of powerful statement of nonconformity? If so, it’s right up there with other emblems of no-cost rebellion, like facial pieced and stupid tribal tatts.
Being a militant atheist in America is about as rebellious and nonconformist as being a virgin at a Brony convention. You really to want live on the edge? Go be an atheist in Iran. See how that works out for you.
These atheist evangelicals aren’t satisfied not to believe. They think we need to not believe too. They seem to live under the bizarre misapprehension that if they are just rude enough to us believers, we’ll somehow unsee the light, put the scales back on our eyes and cast off our faith to embrace a life of spiritual emptiness.
To fill that vast void, militant atheists have taken to forming atheist churches, with sitting in pews, group singing long and sermons. Congratulations – you picked all the worst parts of religion.
What do their sermons cover? “Good morning. There is no God. See you next week?” Maybe they talk about the intolerable cruelty of having to experience people wishing them “Merry Christmas.” Or how their kid heard “Joy to the World” at school and started asking uncomfortable questions when he figured out that who has come wasn’t Santa.
Militant atheists are not all the same. The third most annoying kind likes to shout about how believers hate “science.” I sure hate science. And that’s not an iPhone in my pocket. It’s a magic talking-box that I power with prayers.
The ones shouting about “science” at us superstitious knuckle-draggers are inevitably the ones most breathlessly pushing the global warming scam. Just don’t point out that their claim that all weather phenomena support their climate change hypothesis makes it not really scientific at all. They’ll call you a “denier,” and in militant atheist-speak, “denier” means “heretic.”
Militant atheists are irony-free.
The second most annoying militant atheists are the ones who think they’ve mastered Christian dogma. They’ll quote some obscure passage from the Book of Habakkuk (2:15) and start quizzing you on how you can consider yourself a good Christian after you gave drink to your neighbor. Of course, I have an edge on them. I was raised a California Methodist, and we don’t actually have any dogma.
The most annoying ones file lawsuits. Somebody wants to say a prayer before a Friday night high school football game in East Tumbleweed, Texas, and you can be sure some litigious twerp will allege that he is being subjected to the worst religious oppression since the Christians played the lions in the Colosseum.
And what Christmas and Hanukkah season would be complete without some friendless killjoy suing because a town decided to stick a cross and a menorah out in front of city hall? The sight of so many happy, content people seems painful to them. But then, have you even met a happy, content militant atheist? If so, what was the name of his unicorn?
This is not to say that some holidays don’t deserve mockery. Take Kwanzaa, which is a religious holiday in the sense that progressivism is, itself, a pagan religion. Some communist professor/convicted felon named Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (née Ronald McKinley Everett) invented it in 1966. He hung bits of Marxy foolishness off it like ornaments on a Christmas tree. My favorite is the principle of Ujama, or “cooperative economics.” Gee, how could a concept called “cooperative economics” possibly go wrong?
So, to all the believers and nonbelievers out there who live in harmony with their neighbors of all faiths or none, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! And to you militant atheists, have a socially just and redistributive Kwanzaa, comrades!
Judge Says Baker Must Make Wedding Cakes for Homosexuals
A Colorado judge says a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs, a ruling that a civil rights group hailed as a victory for gay rights.
Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled Friday that Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, will face fines if he continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy wedding cakes.
“The undisputed facts show that Respondents (Phillips) discriminated against Complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage,” Spencer wrote.
Last year, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited the Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The couple had planned to marry in Massachusetts and hold a reception in Colorado.
Phillips told the men that he could not bake their cake because of his religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. He offered to make them any other baked item, but not a wedding cake. The couple immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said in a statement. “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado hailed the ruling and said it serves as a warning.
“While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in a statement. “No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.”
Phillips was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm specializing in religious liberty cases. Attorney Nicolle Martin condemned the judge’s ruling.
“America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free.”
Martin said this was simply a case of a baker who declined to use his personal creative abilities to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony.
“If the government can take aware our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away,” she said.
Martin added that Phillips is a devoted Christian who has an unwavering faith. She said he is a person of such deep faith that he won’t even bake Halloween-themed treats – at all.
“He’s just trying to live within a certain set of biblical principals because he believes that he answers to God for everything that he does,” Martin told Fox News.
She said this case is an example of gay rights trumping religious rights.
“It sends a message not just to other business owners, it sends a message to Americans – that if the government can take away our First amendment freedoms and tell you what to say and when to say it, there’s nothing they can’t take away,” Martin told Fox News.
Judge Spencer said Phillips did not demonstrate that his free speech rights had been violated and he said there’s no evidence that forcing him to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony would hurt his business.
“On the contrary, to the extent that the law prohibits Respondents’ (Phillips) from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, compliance with the law would likely increase their business by not alienating the gay community,” he wrote.
Martin said it was unclear if Phillips will appeal the judge’s ruling.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.