An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


'This is True' exposes PETA's true colours

The following story is from This is True dated 17 July 2005. It is
Copyright 2005 Randy Cassingham, all rights reserved, and reprinted here with permission:

"Ethical" Defined

After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched the occupants throw in heavy plastic bags. They detained the two people in the van and found 18 dead dogs in plastic bags in the dumpster, including puppies; 13 more dead dogs were still in the van. Police say the van is registered to the headquarters of People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals, and the two occupants, Andrew B. Cook, 24, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, identified themselves as PETA employees. An autopsy performed on one of the dogs found it was healthy before it was killed. Police say PETA has been picking up the animals -- alive -- from North Carolina animal shelters, promising to find them good homes. Cook and Hinkle have been charged with 62 felony counts of animal cruelty. In response to the arrests PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said it's against the group's policy for employees to dump animals in the trash, but "that
for some animals in North Carolina, there is no kinder option than euthanasia." (Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald) ...Oops, my mistake: that's"Playing God" Defined.

In his author's notes section, Cassingham had more to say about this

The more I learn about PETA, the less I think of them. The story of them killing animals isn't even unusual. According to PETA's own filings, in 2004 PETA killed 86.3 percent of the animals entrusted to its care -- a number that's rising, not falling. Meanwhile, the SPCA in PETA's home town (Norfolk, Va.) was able to find loving homes for 73 percent of the animals put in its care. A shortage of funds? Nope: last year PETA took in $29 million in tax-exempt donations. It simply has other priorities for the funds, like funding terrorism (yes, really). But don't take my word for it: I got my figures from
-- and they have copies of PETA's state and federal filings to back it up. The bottom line: if you donate money to PETA because you think they care for and about animals, you need to think some more. PETA literally yells and screams about how others "kill animals" but this is how they operate? Pathetic.

And you know what I wonder? PETA's official count of animals they kill is 86.3 percent. But if they're going around picking up animals, killing them while they drive around and not even giving them a chance to be adopted, and then destroying the evidence by dumping the bodies in the trash, are those deaths being reported? My guess: no. While 86.3 percent is awful, the actual number is probably much, much higher. How dare they lecture anyone about the "ethical" treatment of animals!

(This is True is a weekly column featuring weird-but-true news stories from around the world, and has been published since 1994. Click the link for info about free subscriptions.)

(Emphasis in original.)

Who says that the animal lovers at PETA have no sense of humour? They dumped the carcasses (on Wednesday nights over 4 successive weeks, those Einsteins) at a supermarket that goes by the name Piggly Wiggly!

Further items in the press on this mostly ignored story:

Local News

CBS News

The Associated Press

The Washington Times

Fox News

Strangely, CNN had a story but it seems to have disappeared. The Google cache retrieves it for us.

It seems as though the PETA (death camp) workers had digital cameras and illegal drugs with them when caught red-handed in their Mystery Machine!

Glad I am not their defence attorney.

I am not required to be. Nor do I wish to be.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


The BBC blames Casper the Friendly Ghost for bombings

The BBC now tells us that terrorists did not undertake the terrorist suicide bombing of dozens of commuters on the Tube and No. 30 bus in London on 7/7. Mustn't use loaded, judgmental words! They were 'bombers' or 'misguided criminals.'

But how does Auntie Beeb square that with its (until very recently) much-touted, award-winning, January 2005 'documentary' telling the TV licence paying public in the UK, that terrorist conspiracies do not exist?

In January 2005, the BBC's 'flagship' Panorama broadcast a three-part documentary by Adam Curtis entitled 'The Power of Nightmares.' I will let the BBC's own website tell us, in its own words, what the thesis is:

The BBC Two series questioned whether the threat of terrorism to the West was a politically-driven fantasy, winning a Bafta TV award among other prizes.

The Power of Nightmares

Part One:
...In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives and the radical Islamists...

Part Two:
...Both the neo-conservatives and the Islamists believed that it is they who defeated the "evil empire" and now had the power to transform the world. But both failed in their revolutions. In response, the neo-conservatives invented a new fantasy enemy, Bill Clinton, focusing on the scandal surrounding him and Monica Lewinsky. Meanwhile, the Islamists descend into a desperate cycle of violence and terror to try to persuade the people to follow them. Out of all this comes the seeds of the strange world of fantasy, deception, violence and fear in which we now live...

Part Three: ...Wherever one looks for this al-Qaeda organisation, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America, the British and Americans are chasing a phantom enemy. But the reason that no-one questions the illusion is because this nightmare enemy gives so many groups new power and influence in a cynical age - and not just politicians...

(Emphasis added.)

And of course, the movie version of 'The Power of Nightmares' was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. To wild acclaim, I do not doubt.

Reports from intelligence agencies indicate that the four London bombers bloodythirty terrorists were in contact with a known Al Qaeda recruiter in New York and other operatives in Pakistan.

Tell us, Jon Snow; tell us, Huw Edwards; tell us, John Simpson; tell us, Natasha Kaplinsky; tell us David Dimbleby; tell us, Jeremy Paxman; tell us, Lyse Doucet:
What 'myth' bombed the Tube? Which 'phantom' blasted Bus No. 30?

Is it your position that noted neocon Richard Perle was captured on CCTV with an explosives-laden rucksack?

UK residents, your annual TV licence (UK£126.50 / US$ 220 every year) pays for the moral idiots of Auntie Beeb to look down their toffy noses at you as they feed you lies, lies that can and do indeed take innocent lives of your fellows.

Well, you meretricious saps in White City, your 'phantoms' just claimed the lives of 50+ civilians in London.

How do you arrest a ghost?

Update: Australia's SBS had been scheduled to rebroadcast 'The Power of Nightmares' for rebroadcast this past week, but yanked it without notice or explanation to rebroadcast a World War II history programme. I wonder why?
(Link; HT: Tim Blair)

Update 2: From the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik:
One early casualty, for instance, was “The Power of Nightmares,” an influential three-part BBC series that argued that Al Qaeda does not exist, except as a kind of collective hallucination on the part of American neoconservatives. This hypothesis, and, with it, the theory that the terrorist threat was manufactured or hyped, had become extremely powerful on the respectable left. To be fair, the show’s producers never argued that there were no Islamist terrorists—their argument was, instead, that there was no coördinated network of terrorists run by an old Man of the Mountain in hiding. But the popular, anti-Blair, dinner-table view had long ago become that the terrorist threat was exaggerated, or that it wasn’t immediate. That view was destroyed in a morning.

Clive Davis, too.

Thank God, reason is breaking through the clouds...