The serial grifter behind the notorious anti-Islam YouTube video The Innocence of Muslims goes to court today in Los Angeles. Mark Basseley Youssef, which is kind of a Muslim-sounding name, is accused of violating his parole for something or other. (Inciting global riots that led to many deaths, including the death of a brave U.S. ambassador in Libya? No, not for that.) Anyway, you will be surprised not at all to learn that this sketchy character looks exactly like you'd expect! (A serious role for Danny DeVito, perhaps, to constructively use the anger from his marriage troubles?) The same courtroom artist also did some amazing portraits of [...]
We'll learn more this morning but apparently the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to be dropped. According to the New York Post, this is because his accuser has had… "questionable personal relationships"? (Uh, me too?) And was a "liar." According to the Times, "One law enforcement official involved in the investigation said no single problematic detail about Ms. Diallo’s background, or even all of them put together, had undermined the prosecution’s faith in its ability to present a viable case"—but that the department felt they couldn't put her forward as a viable witness. If the motion the DA's office files today resembles this patchwork of weird character/witness [...]
Today, London is tearing itself apart again—in Parliament, where they are talking, essentially, about how to reconfigure society. Prime Minister David Cameron would like, among other things, the ability to assess whether the state has the "right to stop people communicating via these websites and services." You know: by using, like, PHONES and stuff. Meanwhile, a man has been charged with "riot incitement" for his Facebook messages. My [...]
An excellent point: "The photos of the Vancouver riots look like Cardiff on a Saturday night." It's true! This fantastic collection of photos and video from Vancouver last night—you see, Boston won the Stanley Cup? Which is the big prize in hockey, don't you know?—does bear a striking resemblance to any ordinary night of the glassing capital of the world over in Wales. And here is our favorite video from Vancouver.
"There is a silver lining to Athens' ever uglier transition to a third world country: the massive GDP boost that awaits it as it sets off to fix broken windows and burned down buildings." —That is some dark sarcasm. Many wild pictures here (and here and here) of the weekend in Athens, which came in response to "the drastic cuts debated in parliament include axing one in five civil service jobs over the next three years and slashing the minimum wage by more than a fifth."
Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, "mindlessly," motivated only by self-interest? How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind? But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that's why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.
These young people have no sense of community because they haven't been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron's mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there's no such thing.
Chancellor George Osborne, once he found out that PM David Cameron left Tuscany just a few days after North London was overtaken by riots, "immediately" left California to go back and watch London and Manchester burn. (And observe its Diesel stores get their windows broken.) When will anyone ever get a long foreign holiday??? Not as long as angry jobless yobbos exist.
Around 2 or 3 p.m. yesterday, a large group of teens started congregating around the South Street Seaport. They were milling around waiting for the start of a free concert by the rapper Drake (whose album came out/"dropped" yesterday). Unfortunately for them, and the rest of us that showed up, that concert never happened, and what did ensue was a weird riot-type thing that resulted in metal chairs and tables being thrown off balconies and police having to eventually spray the crowd with mace.
Here's a phrase you never, ever want to hear from the person in charge of a country, in this case Egypt's interim prime minister Essam Sharaf, appointed by the governing military council: "The only beneficiary of these events and acts of violence are the enemies of the January revolution and the enemies of the Egyptian people, both Muslim and Christian."
Whenever a state declares someone or something an "enemy of the revolution," your best possible outcome is indefinite detentions and disappearances. (History says that the other choices down that road are often worse.)
We may be recalling the Los Angeles riots of 1992 but others are looking further back. Picture it: 387 AD. "In response to an unwanted tax imposed by the Emperor Theodosius, a mob of citizens and local officials of Antioch tore down painted wooden panels and bronze statues of the imperial family and dragged the loot through the streets. After setting fire to a house and attempting to ignite more buildings, the riot was finally quelled by law enforcement." Hey, let's not forget Constantinople in 388! And then in 532! The Nika Riots were half soccer hooligans at work, a quarter anti-tax zealots and a quarter [...]
After Mark Duggan was shot by police in North London, in Tottenham, four days ago, the family conducted a peaceful vigil and march to the police station (as one does in black communities around the world; standard practice in Oakland, East New York, etc.). There were discrepancies in the account of Duggan's death, as usual. (Police said he'd shot an officer; instead, as usual, an officer apparently shot an officer.) Family and friends waited outside the police station for hours and were ignored. Later that night, a different kind of demonstration emerged, and 26 police were injured in what ensued. Over the weekend, riots and mini-riots "broke out" [...]