The War on Christmas continues in Nazareth

Shimon Gapso, the mayor of Nazareth Illit, the hometown of Jesus, has said no to Christmas trees again.

Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen–not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor.

Arab Christians make up about 7 percent of the town’s 40,000 residents, and are accusing the mayor of racism.


Uniform Thuggery

Is the thuggery in the Middle East so very different to that in the USA? Time magazine’s person of the year is “The Protester”. Protests have been a defining aspect of 2011, as has been the authorities’ reaction to protest. And so often, almost uniformly, that reaction has been thuggery. Uniformed thuggery. This is possibly one of the most important articles Fred Clark (slacktivist) has ever written.

Of course, the police can all too often be thugs anyway, in situations which have nothing to do with protest.


£4,000 awarded to teenager after police were homophobic

In London last year, 15-year-old Jules Mattsson was trying to take photos of a military parade on Armed Forces Day. Police stopped him, telling him that he was a public hazard and was engaging in “anti-social behaviour”. Really. Taking photos is anti-social. What must that make me?

When Mattsson demanded further explanation, an inspector told him that he was being silly and “running around being stupid and gay”. He was arrested for breach of the peace and detained for 15 minutes.

He has now been awarded £4,000 compensation and received an apology from the Metropolitan Police.


Remembering the Wrong Names

What the media choose to record, and what to omit, can give an interesting insight into a culture. On the 27th of November, 1911, for the first time in the USA, a white man was executed for the murder (apparently as part of a botched robbery attempt) of two black women, mother and daughter. His name was reported in the newspapers, theirs were not.