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From the The Guardian:

Concern over rise of ‘happy slapping’ craze

Fad of filming violent attacks on mobile phones spreads

Mark Honigsbaum
Tuesday April 26, 2005
The Guardian

In one video clip, labelled Bitch Slap, a youth approaches a woman at a bus stop and punches her in the face. In another, Knockout Punch, a group of boys wearing uniforms are shown leading another boy across an unidentified school playground before flooring him with a single blow to the head.

In a third, Bank Job, a teenager is seen assaulting a hole-in-the-wall customer while another youth grabs the money he has just withdrawn from the cash machine.

Article continues
Welcome to the disturbing world of the “happy slappers” – a youth craze in which groups of teenagers armed with camera phones slap or mug unsuspecting children or passersby while capturing the attacks on 3g technology.

There are so many appalling things with this “craze,” I’m having trouble blogging about it. First, it shows how diseased modern, liberal society is regarding violence. Second, in a very irresponsible manner, the article puts the entire emphasis on physical violence and makes the emotional violence in these acts almost invisible. Third it’s vile in how it blames the victim if they suffer more than an “ego bruise.” I don’t know if this woman was quoted out of context, but I found her appalling:

Liz Carnell, the director of Bullying Online, a Yorkshire-based charity set up to combat bullying in schools, said that since the start of the year she has heard of increasing attacks both on children and on adults. But she fears many incidents are not reported.

“In most cases the worst that happens is a minor scratch or a bruised ego,” she said.

“What the people behind these attacks have to understand is that technically they are committing an assault. And if they then upload the images on to the internet or a phone system they could be prosecuted for harassment.”

1) “In most cases the worst that happens is a minor scratch or a bruised ego” – What? So you come up to a child or adult and you punch them straight in the face and “the most that can happen is a bruised ego?” What!? As in if they didn’t have an ego problem, their “ego” wouldn’t get bruised and there would be no harm done whatsoever? This is insane.

2) And then look at the wording here: “What the people behind these attacks have to understand is that technically they are committing an assault.” Technically!? Has the world gone entirely mad? What these kids have to understand first and foremost is that this is morally, ethically, socially wrong and harmful. Technically and non-technically, this is an assault. The “technical” is the least important when they are so clueless.

3)”…since the start of the year she has heard of increasing attacks both on children and on adults. But she fears many incidents are not reported.” No kidding. As if anyone needs to be reminded that usually the kids who are victimized with bullying are not in a position to report things. And when many do, they meet some of the most disgusting living adults on the planet, who dismiss the issue, blame the victim, and ensure the bullying goes on.

4) And what is it with the “happy slap” term? Hello, Orwell. And also what is it with this “bitch slap” slang?

5)And the fact that the kids gang up the victim to film it and display for entertainment. We know where they learned that from. What is it that they watch 24/7 on TV, movies, and pornography?

Modern society is such an open, smelling cancrum.


From Search Engine Watch:

Those of you who track blogosphere buzz might be interested to learn that BlogPulse (from Intelliseek) has released some new stats today.

Fast Facts:
+ The San Francisco Chronicle and are now top news sources cited by bloggers.

++ Most Cited Blogs
1) Boing Boing
2) (up from No. 13 in 2004)[never heard of it until now :-)]

++ Other Big Movers on the Most Cited List (No. 23 to No. 7) (No. 17 to No. 8)

BlogPulse also announced that their now tracking more than 10 million blogs. That’s about 700,000 more blogs than were being tracked just two months ago.

I hope that in their next release BlogPulse will provide more info about these numbers. For example:
+ What criteria do they use to determine what is and is not a blog?

[read more…]

I´ve noticed some blog posts are turning up when you do a search in Google News. I wonder what criteria Google is using as well.


From Ignacio Prado, reflections on the consequences of the Catholic Church not modernizing (click on his name for full post):

There are different ways of modernizing. One is to take the traditional route of main-line Protestant churches and simply abstain from upholding traditional moral doctrines that are out of line with contemporary secular norms (as defined by markets, civil society, and positive law). The problem, as noted to some extent in Ross’ article, is that you end up with a very aesthetic, undemanding set of religious commitments that are, at the end of the day, neither very distinctively religious nor very important on any day other than Sunday.


The other approach, which I will call Modernist, is to recognize that there is human suffering, that this suffering is bad, and that nothing less than the Gospels themselves tell us that it requires no transcendental dogma to make this moral recognition or act upon it. The Church’s agential mission then becomes associated with meeting and overcoming suffering. It is hard to see how this can be done effectively through a top-down bureaucratic model and by putting gag orders on renegade theologians.


The Church will continue to find people who are attracted to its aura of tradition and its ability to provide authority on social and moral questions. Once the appeal of that authority starts to wane at the level of individual conscience, however, the Church, under its Traditionalist model, has no consolations left to offer. The choice for the individual then becomes either the unwilling acceptance of dogma or apostasy, and I am fairly confident that unwilling acceptance of dogma is neither a strategy for success nor a model of what success in questions spiritual should be.

My reply:

I thought you made some good points in your comment.

Ignacio wrote, “The problem, as noted to some extent in Ross’ article, is that you end up with a very aesthetic, undemanding set of religious commitments that are, at the end of the day, neither very distinctively religious nor very important on any day other than Sunday.”

This problem, however, is seen only if one looks at its detrimental consequences for society, because all the individuals I know who have subscribed to these kinds of religions (including the atheists who don’t go to any church, or people who like to apply a religious label on themselves, but who do not commit to real practice of religious teachings) are all delighted with this state of (a)moral or flimsly-moral or diet-lite religions in modern society.

This kind of “religion” (or lack of religion) bloats individual egos and shuns holding these same individuals accountable for many serious things, what more could modern, liberal, egotistical society want?

Regarding who this un-modern Church appeals to, I believe there are still an enormous group of people for whom this kind of Church serves their needs, even though with globalized religion competition, other faiths will increasingly encroach and take over any segment of the population that is not satisfied with traditional Catholic preaching. For the majority of Catholics I know, the Catholic Church is there to provide ritual, not guidance, and certainly not accountability of anything. I would venture, without knowing a lot about the Catholic Church, that Pope Benedict prefers it this way, than to have the Church transformed by “renegade theologians,” or to make the Church try to be a moral agent in society and then make these Cafeteria Catholics upset. It is the conservative Catholics I know that are usually more concerned with their religion as a moral force in their lives, and hold themselves accountable to it.

And apparently Pope Benedict prefers to repeat over and over again that homosexuality is a sin, and at the same time, pretend that the lavender mafia and the pink-pedo mafia of Catholic clergy is not a huge problem in the Church, which will only get worse if good, healthy heterosexual men are not allowed to be ordained, and certainly most need to get married when that time comes in their lives. The Catholic Church is behaving towards homosexuality in the same way as if it preached insistently that it was pro-life and thousands of its priests worked in abortion clinics. It’s in our faces. I mean, thou shall not lie and insult our intelligence with this mockery. If you are going to be Traditional, fine, but at least uphold in practice what you preach.


I wasn’t going to blog on this, because I found it so disgusting, but why not? This is from Eric Muller’s blog, an American professor, who recently visited France, and behaved as a sexual voyeur in his own class, no less!

March 24, 2005 – My Aphrodisiac Qualities

Just taught a really fun class here in France about proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence, the American criminal jury, and a bit about the privilege against self-incrimination. (Sort of a “Greatest Hits of Distinctive Features of American Criminal Justice”).

A young woman in the front row spent much of the last 15 minutes or so of the class with her hand in the lap of the young man next to her. And I mean in his lap. At the end of the class, I grabbed my books to leave and looked up, and there were in complete liplock.

Ah, to be young and in France and in love and in Eric Muller’s criminal law class.

I was astounded about the extent of how he views the whole thing as a big ego inflating boost for himself (My Aphrodisiac Qualities). He brags about the incident on his blog! And, in his blog entry, he links to a photo of the hand action and puts emphasis on the action, “And I mean in his lap.” He thinks he is the greatest for playing voyeur, I mean, get a clue. Is this the kind of attitude we want in a professor? Is there anything these two kids could have done in class that would make Eric actually tell them to stop? I’m not sure.

Muller hates Michelle Malkin, btw, and a lot of his blog is devoted to sharing his feelings about her. I think Michelle Malkin is a tad extreme with the Asian-American politics, but certainly not with social attitudes and personal values. And a professor who acts like Eric did, wants to point fingers at her.

The world is a circus.


One Nation Under What?

From quote at Malkin:

And Billy Jones at View from the Foothills has rewritten the entire pledge to conform to P.C. standards:

I pledge [allegiance] some occasional recognition

to the [Flag] symbols of oppression

of the [United States] diverse indigenous peoples

of [America] the land mass referred to by oppressive European conquistadors as “America”

and to the [Republic] totalitarian theocracy, for which it stands,

[one nation,] a Balkanized patchwork of cultures,

[under God,] under each individuals’ personal belief system

[indivisible,] divided into innumerable unique communities of culture,

[with liberty and justice for all.] where some are more equal than others.

😀 I like it. This is my New and Improved PC version:

I pledge [allegiance] some occasional recognition when I feel like it, only if it makes me feel good, and reinforces my desires, my ego, and my bloated self-conception,

to the [Flag] the PC cultural symbol of my choice

of [United States] diverse creatures

of [America] the land mass with a few mountain ranges, rivers, and deserts with homes on the range, specially mine,

and to the [Republic] intolerant liberal dictatorship, for which it stands, but which I love, because it says I’m right about everything,

[one nation,] a Balkanized patchwork of cultures,

[under God,] under God, G-d, the Goddess, Jupiter and Zeus, the whole pantheon, Jesus (who was probably a homo, according to bishup Robinson), the Holy Spirit, not to come before all other Spirits, Mother Earth, Buddha, Mohhamed, stars, comets, and rainbows, and all life forces in the Universe (and we apologize in advance if we left anyone else out, please feel included)

[indivisible,] divided into innumerable unique communities of culture and dellusional concepts of rights,

[with liberty and justice for all.] where some are more equal than others. And anyone who doesn’t agree is an intolerant bigot.


The Navajo Nation on Friday outlawed same-sex marriages on its reservation. The Tribal Council voted unanimously in favor of legislation that restricts a recognized union to that between a man and a woman, and prohibits plural marriages as well as marriages between close relatives.

Men and women have been created in a sacred manner. We need to honor this,” said Del. Harriet Becenti.

My thoughts exactly. Sacred, and unless honored, desecrated.

Kudos to the Navajo Nation.


I find these studies about church attendance and religious practices very interesting.

From “Why Men Hate Church by David Murrow – some gender gap analyses regarding church attendance:”


Tough, earthy, working guys rarely come to church. High achievers, alpha males, risk takers, and visionaries are in short supply. Fun-lovers and adventurers are also underrepresented in church. These rough-and-tumble men don’t fit in with the quiet, introspective gentlemen who populate the church today. The truth is, most men in the pews grew up in church. Many of these lifers come not because they desire to be transformed by Christ but because they enjoy participating in comforting rituals that have changed little since their childhood. There are also millions of men who attend services under duress, dragged by a mother, wife, or girlfriend. Today’s churchgoing man is humble, tidy, dutiful, and above all, nice.


Who is being touched by the gospel today? Women. Women’s ministries, women’s conferences, women’s Bible studies, and women’s retreats are ubiquitous in the modern church. Men’s ministry, if it even exists, might consist of an occasional pancake breakfast and an annual retreat.

How did a faith founded by a Man and His twelve male disciples become so popular with women, but anathema to men? The church of the first century was a magnet to males. Jesus’ strong leadership, blunt honesty, and bold action mesmerized men. A five-minute sermon by Peter resulted in the conversions of three thousand men.

Today’s church does not mesmerize men; it repels them. Just 35 percent of the men in the United States say they attend church weekly. In Europe male participation rates are much worse, in the neighborhood of 5 percent. This hardly sounds like a male-dominated, patriarchal institution to me.

What’s worse, nobody seems to care about the absence of men. Have you ever heard a sermon on the church’s gender gap? I’ve never heard a pastor or church leader bring it up. Heck, I’ve never heard anybody bring it up. It’s just one of those things Christians don’t talk about.

Lovely updates at the Joshua Scott Family blog, in Guatemala.


Can anyone recommend a freeware or inexpensive-ware software that allows you to give Windows commands/keyboard shortcut commands with your computer microphone?

I tried installing Talk2Desktop, but it behaved very weirdly, it seemed to have all this automatic inbuilt advertising window popping junk in it, acting just like a virus would, even a harmless one.

I really need to cut down mouse use as much as possible, or my right arm will fall off shortly.


Ratzinger Implicated In Sex Crime Cover Up: Did Pope Benedict XVI Obstruct Justice?

Breaking News by Dan Riehl

The signature of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is on a confidential letter defending the Church’s right to conduct secret investigations into alleged sexual abuse cases and keep the information confidential up to ten years after the victims had reached adulthood. The letter was sent to all Roman Catholic Bishops in May, 2001.

The letter states that the church’s jurisdiction ‘begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age’ and lasts for 10 years.

According to the Ratzinger letter anyone revealing confidential information from the investigations could be subject to discipline up to and including excommunication.

When approached for comment the Vatican press office had no comment as it claimed the letter was not a public document.

The letter is referred to in documents relating to a lawsuit filed earlier this year against a church in Texas and Ratzinger on behalf of two alleged abuse victims. By sending the letter, lawyers acting for the alleged victims claim the cardinal conspired to obstruct justice.

If it’s true, I hope they bring the Pope, the Vatican, and the whole lot of anyone else involved in this most horrendous type of criminal obstruction to Justice.

You know what I think was needed, run all these cardinals, bishops, and priests on those lie detectors. Even if these machines aren’t totally reliable, it would be very interesting, nevertheless.


Exhange of comments between Jack and myself on the Lay post. Jack wrote:

I’m not sure it’s appropriate to call Law’s position one of power. Sitting on a congregation may not have any power at all; it depends on the congregation. I couldn’t follow the links, though, so I can’t say, but for instance I once heard that Law works on ecumenism. That congregation would have little power at all; it only speaks with authority on what the Catholic position might be on certain issues, etc.

Of course, NCR routinely conflates “authority” and “power” all the time, and it typically sees “power” everywhere it can, especially when they want to remove the person in a certain position to replace him/her with someone who suits their political predispositions. — at least, that’s how NCR was ten years ago, even 5 years ago, IIRC. Maybe they’re different now, but I’d be really surprised.

OTOH, maybe Law is on some congregations that do have genuine power, and if he’s on one that deals with issues like pedophilia, yeah that would be worrisome. I myself was disappointed to learn that Law is still a cardinal, but then again Mahoney’s still a cardinal, too — indeed, he is still in control of the archdiocese of Los Angeles. Why isn’t NCR raising a stink about that? Perhaps because Mahoney has taken their side on some “political” issues?

BTW, the note on Mahoney is because Mahoney also suffered quite a bit of embarassment from the pedophilia scandal.
jack perry | Homepage | 04.21.05 – 12:13 am | #

“I myself was disappointed to learn that Law is still a cardinal, but then again Mahoney’s still a cardinal, too — indeed, he is still in control of the archdiocese of Los Angeles. Why isn’t NCR raising a stink about that? Perhaps because Mahoney has taken their side on some “political” issues?”

Totally agree.

You know what I also ask, if someone else had been Pope in the past 20 years, would it have made a difference? To me, the Vatican is also culpable for hiding, hiding, helping abscond, using the most expensive powerful law firms to attack and silence victims, sheltering all their criminal priests, bishops, and cardinals.

They are only rivaled by homo activists, who lie about sexual abuse by homos just as much as the Church lied about it for its priests.

It’s a disgusting circus.


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