Bloggers on the British kidnapping plot.

Bloggers on the British kidnapping plot.

Bloggers on the British kidnapping plot.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Jan. 31 2007 5:12 PM

Disinvitation to a Beheading

Bloggers wipe their brows in relief about a thwarted kidnapping/beheading plot in Britain. They also excoriate Joe Biden for his backhanded, and racially suspect, compliments to Barack Obama. And how authentic was the Sienna Miller-Hayden Christensen love scene in Factory Girl?

Disinvitation to a beheading: British police have arrested nine suspects for allegedly plotting to kidnap and decapitate a British Muslim soldier who had served in Afghanistan. Footage of his would-be murder was to have been broadcast on the Internet.

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At Up Pompeii, a blog devoted to "exposing Islamic Jihad in Britain and Europe," "Gandalf" writes: "Watching the newscasts on this event it has been said that this incident also included the filming and publication of the execution of the kidnapped victim as is done in Iraq and the Arab world. This has to be the act that has finally crossed the line of even the most supine of the liberal left in this country, as of yet all of this is allegation and speculation but I am certain that all that is alleged will be confirmed."

Falklands War veteran Rogue Gunner is glad of the diligence of his country's domestic security: "It was bad enough that British soldiers have been attacked in their (Civilian) hospital beds after being wounded overseas but this takes Terror to a new level. … Britain is entering a new phase in the fight against terrorism, lets hope we have the fortitude to see the job through."

Samuel J. Scott, who writes about politics, media, religion, and business, thinks "[t]he entire Islamic community there needs to weed out the extremists in their midst through whatever means necessary. Now. If this does not occur, then I fear that the British people will not tolerate this threat much longer. They may start harming innocent Muslims – or worse."

And centrist "LASunsett" at Political Yen/Yang wonders if it can't happen here: "So, here we see a Muslim soldier that served his country was the target. I guess, it is the view of these plotters that he has defiled his faith, by serving the nation that he lives in. So now, he is worthy of death. It raises the question, will this eventually happen in the U.S.? Or, has it already happened and we just weren't informed of it? Whatever the case, it shows just how dangerous this radical teaching that is currently hiding under the guises of freedom of religion and speech, really is."

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Read more about the thwarted kidnapping and beheading.

Clueless Joe: In this much-bruited Page One New York Observer profile of Sen. Joe Biden, the presidential hopeful says of his Democratic rival Barack Obama: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. … I mean, that's a storybook, man." This isn't the first time the Delaware legislator has suffered from foot-in-mouth disease. Here is defending his "slave state" against charges of its being home to effete Northeastern liberals, and here is he demonstrating his thank-you-come-again fondness for subcontintental immigrants.

Markos Moulitsas of the left-wing Daily Kos is aghast: "Really, if we live in a just world, this will be the end of Joe Biden's political career." And Patrick Casey at AOL News election blog The Stump says: "The equivalent for him would be to say of Hillary Clinton: 'she has some good views, for a blond woman'."

New York gossip rag Gawker had it a little too easy with this one: "It is a storybook! Can you imagine living in a world where African-Americans can speak properly, exhibit intelligence, and maintain personal hygiene? It's like something out of science fiction!"

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"Turk" at politics-and-pop-culture blog Kung Fu Quip is waiting for the Democratic response: "Seriously, if this guy was a Republican, you'd be able to hear the Democrats screaming if you were halfway around the world.  This jackass, however, keeps getting a pass."

And Chris at lefty Outside Report is deeply insulted: "For those white people who haven't figured this out yet, we black folks hate hate HATE to be called articulate. That isn't a compliment. Its a downright insult. It presumes that when you see a black person that can speak proper English that you are amazed. And don't get mad, because Obama agrees with me. Further, I can think of many many African-American mainstream politicians who were 'bright and clean' before Obama came along. What the hell does clean mean?"

Read more about Biden's remarks.

Factory direct: In their upcoming film Factory Girl, Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen share a pretty unobstructed sex scene, which several reports claim wasn't faked. Apparently, neither is the unsalvageable awfulness of Factory Girl.

"If you make a porn movie and no one pays to see it, is it still porn?" asks porn-obsessed Fleshbot.

Luke White gets highbrow about Darth Vader's sack artistry, citing Baudrillard and everything: "The distinction between simulation and reality is deliberately obscured: the director's presumable aim is to make the viewer suspend disbelief by making the unreal seem real. Legendarily, this requires a technical prowess very unreal indeed, with elaborate choreography, strategic tape, cameras and booms zipping in and out of the scene, subdirectors and grippers and cameramen shouting directions at the couple in not-quite-flagrante-delicto."

Read more about the Miller-Christensen sex scene.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.