Since the massive file dump was announced I've been expecting some form of American led backlash against Assange. It was always going to be obvious that the only way he was going to reappear in the USA was in handcuffs. You got the impression that someone, somewhere in the US government would have found a way to exempt him from any of the amendments that allow freedom of speech, etc. But, whatever they came up with it was obvious that every body and their aunts would say, 'Fix! Stitch Up! Sore Losers! Fascists!' America knew it couldn't win this one and Assange probably knew that he'd have a majority of public support.
I have no doubt someone high up in the CIA or FBI figured the only thing Assange could be stitched up for is something heinous that the general public would have no sympathy for. I'm 99.9% sure that the sudden appearance of sexual molestation, rape and coercion allegations by Swedish prosecutors is someone cashing in a favour with the Scandinavians or offering something they need in exchange for wheeling out someone who is prepared to purger themselves so that some form of extradition can be arranged or some prison sentence can be manufactured to put the Australian behind bars for long enough so that the powers that be can smile into their morning coffee and mutter quietly under their breaths 'Game, set and match you bastard; you don't fuck with the US of A.'
Or in other words, I think the allegations against Assange are about as truthful as me saying that I had sex with Lady Gaga in person last night, while my wife videotaped it and the aforementioned Gaga had so many orgasms it made her ears bleed and her meat dress become instantly cured...
Rape is bad, sexual molestation offers up images of Assange being a filthy paedophile - idiots will believe it and while this is going on the US government exerts pressure on companies such as Paypal and Amazon, effectively preventing the man from existing. We only have ourselves to blame; we, the people of the free world, have allowed these paranoid control freaks to run our countries.
When BMJ or Big Martin Jol was in charge of my beloved Spurs, he transformed the team from a joke into serious challengers for a Champions League spot. Spurs' chairman decided after a bad start to the 2007 season that he didn't have the required ability to take us that step further and rather backhandedly screwed him over in favour of a Spaniard with a really dodgy voice who took my club backwards so fast we could have gone from nearly men to relegated big club in just 9 months.
BMJ's assistant was a former Spurs defender called Chris Hughton - a team man through and through. A nice guy - the sort of bloke you wanted as your #2. He got shafted by Spurs and ended up working for the barking mad Kevin Keegan at Newcastle united, or the Bar Codes as we like to call them. Eventually, because the Bar Codes were the laughing stock of English football and their owner, one Mike Ashley was the biggest twat ever to own a sports retail chain - even bigger than Dave Whelan of Wigan Athletic - they got relegated and everyone outside of Newcastle laughed like drains.
No one wanted the job of manager; they were doomed you see. Once you get unceremoniously dumped out of the English Premier League, the only way is down. Young Chris Hughton took the job on in a Caretaker capacity and after a few weeks was offered the job full time. He had managed to steer the team into top spot in the Championship; they were playing good football and the smiles were reappearing on Geordies' faces again. Even Mike Ashley had decided not to try and sell his club, but stick with it. At the end of last season, the Bar Codes had won the Championship title; they were back in the top league after just one season away and Chris was lauded as an honorary Geordie and all round Canny Top Blerk.
Yet despite all of this, he was still favourite to get the sack. Few people saw Newcastle doing much else but struggle and after creditable draws against Chelsea and Everton and wins at Arsenal's Emirates fortress and a 5-1 thrashing of local rivals Sunderland; Hughton had steered the club to a very reasonable and respectable 11th. He'd suffered two bad defeats in the last 8 days; a 5-1 humbling by 6th place Bolton and a 3-1 away defeat to the club they pipped to the Championship last season. Not good, but in this topsy turvy season, they were doing okay; they had even managed to reach the dizzying heights of 7th a couple of weeks ago, just 2 points off of a Champions League spot.
Today, Mike Ashley sacked Chris Hughton because he felt the club needed a more experienced manager to take them further and to survive in the Premiership. He gets to do it really cheaply as the former Spurs man's contract is up at the end of the year or 25 days as we like to say.
The most incredible thing about this is the widespread and universal condemnation for Ashley from just about every corner of the football world. Even Sunderland and Middlesbrough fans are united with the Bar Codes on a decision that makes no sense at all. I have scoured the Internet and I have found 3 people/posts that support the decision and literally thousands that think it is the most stupid decision football has seen since FIFA were given control of world footballing matters. It is a cowardly and despicable decision made by a man who is as popular as pubic lice.
I like Newcastle; they're, in general, like a crap version of Spurs. I hope that they get relegated and the man who has undoubtedly accepted Hughton's position - because they must have someone already lined up or they wouldn't have taken this ridiculous step - discovers that all of his children are gay, his wife has been sleeping with a dirty vagrant and his penis has fallen off and been replaced with a plastic egg whisk - whoever takes the job deserves no more. Ashley should just contract an incurable disease and die, slowly, alone in his own shit and with no dignity ...
By the time this gets put up, England will either have won the 2nd test or the monsoon that has been hitting Australia will have reprieved the home nation, in the same way our weather helped us to win the Ashes in 2005 and 2009. It's not fair, but if the shoe was on the other foot we'd be praying for the same outcome.
Bad news about Stuart Broad; he could have proved to be decisive.
The Walking Dead finished it's first season with a bit of a bang and a Bob Dylan song. It broke records on cable TV and comes back next year for a full season. It was great expectant TV, but frankly it needs to speed up a touch (and improve its CGI).
I have had some great fun scanning in loads of old pictures in the last week and at some point in the next couple of weeks I shall be scanning not just the pictures from my wedding, but also many of the pictures from my folks' collection - a selection of pictures from a 1000+ library ranging from the 1950s to the late 1980s. I imagine I won't be the only embarrassed soul...