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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The BBC Radio 4 comedy slot giving Jeremy Hardy a platform to spew out his prejudices

18:40 tonight and as I left work I turned on Radio 4 for some light relief on the way home. I had been entertained by the incomparable 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' and last night I had been mildly diverted by 'Fags, Mags & Rags', so my hopes were high. Thus it was with a sinking feeling that I found myself having to listen to the poisonous prejudices of Jeremy Hardy.

Rather than me tell you what I think about what he said, why not take a listen here and we can discuss the matter in a few days...

'Five US men'

The BBC report that:
'Five Americans have each been sentenced to 10 years in jail by a court in Pakistan after being found guilty of terrorism charges, prosecutors say.'
Indeed they are Americans but I would have thought their religion might have been what connected them, being as they were
'convicted of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil and of funding banned jihadist groups.'
Further into the article we learn that:
'The men have been identified as Ramy Zamzam, of Egyptian descent, Waqar Khan and Umar Farooq of Pakistani descent, and Aman Hassan Yemer and Ahmed Minni, who are of Ethiopian descent.'
and that:
'The case is one of several involving alleged "home-grown" American Muslim militants linked to Pakistan.'
So maybe the headline rather than read
'Five US men convicted of Pakistan 'terror plot''
should have read
'Five Islamic jihadi immigrants to the convicted of Pakistan 'terror plot''
Just a thought...

Satire?

Deniersaurus Rex thinks Ken Clarke might be a bit soft on crime:
'Following his appointment as Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke has announced his new approach to sentencing in the UK.

To cut costs murderers, rapists, arsonists, burglars, thieves and perpetrators of serious crimes will no longer be jailed. Instead Kenny boy is proposing a 3 step punishment regime.

1. They will be seriously told off by the judge/magistrate.
2.They must sit on the naughty step for an hour and think hard about what they have done.
3. They must then promise only to do nice things and have nice thoughts in future.

Mr Clarke has reserved the right of the Justice Minister to order a particularly serious offender to receive a big smacked bottom. It is anticipated that this will be a rarely used sanction.

The crimes of murder, rape, arson, terrorism, burglary, theft etc will be removed form the statute book and replaced with the single "catch all" crime of Being Naughty'

Do read the rest of the article, it's rather good.

Wise words then and still wise words now

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
Cicero, 55 BC



Thanks to Tory Totty Online for the spot.

The future of the UK under 'green power'?

The Telegraph report that:
'when the inhabitants of the remote Scottish island of Eigg put their faith in the wind and rain to provide all their electricity they did not reckon for one thing – mild weather.

Now the 95 residents are being asked not to use kettles, toasters or other kitchen appliances after uncharacteristically mild weather caused a critical shortage of power.

Other household equipment such as washing machines are to be used only outside times of “peak” demand for the island’s 45 homes and 20 businesses.

Weeks of what passes for heatwave conditions in the Inner Hebrides have caused water levels on the island’s three main burns to drop uncharacteristically low, cutting off the island’s hydroelectricity supply.

The normally powerful Atlantic gusts in the tiny island south of Skye have also reduced to a pleasant breeze leaving the island’s wind turbines idle for hours on end.

As a result, the community owned power company has placed the island on “red alert” and issued notices effectively rationing electricity.

It has had to revert to using old-fashioned diesel power to run a backup generator to keep the lights on.

The shortages come only months after Eigg’s innovative renewable power grid won a share of a £1 million first prize in a nationwide competition to become model on how to tackle climate change. '
In a rational world it is stories like this that would make the proponents of 'green power' think again, but this is not a rational world and the environmentalists, greens and their supporters and evangelisers in the BBC will continue to push their agenda all the harder.

Of course I can find no mention of this news on the BBC's green propaganda page although there is this article buried on the highlands and islands news page.

Amusingly this page has one link on it to James Delingpole's blog, specifically a piece entitled "Ha ha ha ha ha!"

Thanks to Biased BBC for the spot.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Resounding support for the Euro

the Local report that: 'Half of Germans want the Deutsche mark back' In fact its worse/better than that:
'Some 51 percent of those surveyed by market research institute Ipsos admitted they wanted their old currency back.

Just 30 percent said that they rejected the idea, while another 18 percent were undecided, the Hamburg-based institute reported.'
If you were German wouldn't you want to return to the stability of your own currency?

I bet he is...

The Telegraph report that: 'Gordon Brown is still waiting for a leaving gift from Cabinet colleagues' Apparently
'If Gordon Brown has shown little enthusiasm for keeping in touch with his former Cabinet colleagues, it may be because they neglected the tradition of having a whip round for him when he stepped down as prime minister.

"I think that is a private matter, don't you?"I was told by an irritable John Denham. Brown's communities secretary then put the telephone down.

When I asked Pat McFadden, the former business minister, who attended Cabinet meetings, if he knew of any gift, he said: "I have never heard it mentioned. No, there hasn't been a whip round."

Even if Brown had been minded to accept a leaving gift in a characteristically low-key way – in the manner, for instance, that he signed the Lisbon Treaty – it wouldn't have made any difference. His former Cabinet colleagues appear to have made a conscious decision to give him nothing.

"Part of it was because of the circumstances of his departure," one tells me on condition I do not name him. "For a while, we didn't know if he was going or not." By contrast, when Tony Blair left office, Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, had asked each member of his cabinet to chip in £80 to buy him a print of Chequers. It was presented to him at their last meeting.'
Altogether now; ha ha ha...

"The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost."

"The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost."
That's an extract from s speech given eight years ago by Ben Bernanke then the new governor of the Federal Reserve. Read this article by The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and see if you think the money printing presses are about to roll again...:
'Clearly we are nearing the end of the "Phoney War", that phase of the global crisis when it seemed as if governments could conjure away the Great Debt. The trauma has merely been displaced from banks, auto makers, and homeowners onto the taxpayer, lifting public debt in the OECD bloc from 70pc of GDP to 100pc by next year. As the Bank for International Settlements warns, sovereign debt crises are nearing "boiling point" in half the world economy.

...

Bernanke warned in that speech eight years ago that "sustained deflation can be highly destructive to a modern economy" because it leads to slow death from a rising real burden of debt.

At the time, the broad money supply war growing at 6pc and the Dallas Fed's `trimmed mean' index of core inflation was 2.2pc.

We are much nearer the tipping today. The M3 money supply has contracted by 5.5pc over the last year, and the pace is accelerating: the 'trimmed mean' index is now 0.6pc on a six-month basis, the lowest ever. America is one twist shy of a debt-deflation trap.

There is no doubt that the Fed has the tools to stop this. "Sufficient injections of money will ultimately always reverse a deflation," said Bernanke. The question is whether he can muster support for such action in the face of massive popular disgust, a Republican Fronde in Congress, and resistance from the liquidationsists at the Kansas, Philadelphia, and Richmond Feds. If he cannot, we are in grave trouble. '

Monday, 28 June 2010

News of an attack in Gaza that the BBC have not reported

Imagine the BBC's coverage if Israeli soldiers vandalised a United Nations children’s summer camp in central Gaza, burnt toys and tied up a guard. Well it it is reported that:
'Armed assailants have vandalised a United Nations children’s summer camp in central Gaza.

The incident, in which toys were burnt and a guard tied up, follows a similar attack by Palestinian militants on another UN camp in May. There are about 12 UN camps in Gaza, catering for 250,000 children.

In the latest assault more than 20 masked men attempted to set fire to tents and used knives to slash a plastic paddling pool and inflatable slide.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, but Islamic extremists have repeatedly targeted the UN programme, which involves sports, games and human rights education for the young people of Gaza.

They have accused the UN, which started up the educational scheme in 2007, of corrupting young people.

Hamas, who have control over the Gaza strip, run alternative camps involving military-style marching and Islamic instruction.

John Ging, the local UN chief, described the attack as “cowardly and despicable" and said it was another sign of the urgent need to tackle rising extremism in Gaza.

He promised the site would be rebuilt. '

Once again the BBC ignore a story of Hamas brutality.

Would Lampard's goal have been allowed in Israel?

The JC reports that:
'In a remarkably similar incident to yesterday's Frank Lampard ‘ghost’ goal against Germany, the Championship deciding game last month in Israel’s Ligat Ha’Al had an almost identical goal.

However, the conduct of referee Alon Yefet in Hapoel Tel Aviv’s 2-1 victory over Betar Jerusalem was very different than the Uruguyan Jorge Larrionda's behaviour yesterday.

In the 44th minute at Teddy Stadium with Hapoel leading 1-0, Betar’s Barak Yitzhaki shot from 25 yards. The ball hit Hapoel defender Walid Badir and looped over Nigerian international Vincent Enyeama, hit the underside of the bar, crossed the line and spun back into play.

Yefet, Israel’s top referee who frequently officiates in Champions League matches and World Cup qualifiers, waved play on. He was immediately surrounded by irate Betar players and decided to go over to consult with his assistant Nisan Davidi.

Although the referee and assistant could have communicated through their headgear the consultation took 75 seconds during which time the two men seemed to be waiting to hear from a third party in their earpieces. The Israeli media reported that Yefet had asked fourth official Eitan Shmuelvitz to look at the TV replay. After the 75 seconds wait the goal was awarded.

For Yefet to have used a TV replay would have been a serious contravention of Uefa and Fifa regulations and a breach of discipline. When contacted this morning by the JC, Yefet said: “I do not want to comment on yesterday’s England/Germany game. Regarding the match between Hapoel and Betar I did not use technology to help me in my decision.”

However, Avraham Klein the former Israeli referee who officiated in three World Cup finals and was the referee in the famous England Brazil game in 1970 when Gordon Banks made his remarkable save from Pele, said that technology should be introduced.

Commenting on the behaviour of Yefet in the Hapoel Betar match he said: “The Israeli officials headed by Yefet behaved properly. They behaved wisely and waited a number of seconds. As a result of the audio system at their service they made an alternative decision and that's the way to behave.”'

Balen report update

I read in the JC that:
'Steven Sugar, the London solicitor battling to force the BBC to release a report into its Middle East coverage, says his latest legal defeat does not spell the end of his campaign.

On Wednesday, the Appeal Court rejected his latest call for the 2004 Balen Report to be made available.

Mr Sugar, who first applied to the Information Commissioner early in 2005 and has since fought several court actions, described the decision as "very disappointing. It's a very unbalanced judgment".

But he added: "It is not the final round. We are contemplating an appeal to the Supreme Court. There is a possibility of taking the matter to the European Court of Human Rights."'
Maybe this is not the end of the story, but I fear it will be...

Yesterday's England v Germany match - some thoughts

Now that the dust has settled a little I thought that I would put my thoughts down for posterity.

England played very poorly it is true and even if the Lampard non-goal had been allowed England would probably have lost, however the key word is probably and Sepp Blatter and FIFA should hang their heads in shame for their decision earlier this year not to use goal line technology. The replay that showed clearly that the ball had crossed the line was available within seconds. However this morning it seems that Fifa did not send any officials with responsibility for referees to its daily briefing. Fifa spokesman Nicolas Maingot faced hostile questioning but said it was "obviously not the place" to debate refereeing errors or the merits of video technology. "We obviously will not open any debate," Maingot said. "This is obviously not the place for this." Obviously!

I would suggest that the FA call for the resignation of Sepp Blatter but they will be too busy sucking up to FIFA in an attempt to get the 2018 World Cup hosted in England. If we do host that tournament then I wonder if we will become the second host country not to make it beyond the group stage, following South Africa this year?

As to the tournament itself, what went wrong? Before the tournament Fabio Capello was talking about only playing in-form players. However what he actually did was to bring players who were injured like Ledley King, recovering from injury like Gareth Barry and out of form players like Emile Heskey. Capello left behind Adam Johnson who has been keeping Sean Wright Phillips out of his club side and is a true left-sided midfielder, preferring to play Gerrard out of position on the left. Meanwhile Wright Phillips and Lennon got partial games and showed why they are not international standard wingers. Heskey was Capello's preferred partner for Rooney "because he brings out the best in him" although he has an appalling international scoring record (actually he has a appalling club scoring record as well). Defoe played well, Rooney did not. Why did Capello not think of bringing Crouch (a man with the best goals to international matches ratio of any of the England strikers) to play alongside Defoe? In defence Terry was played on the wrong side of central defence so ruining his positioning sense and the in-form centre back Dawson never played a game, Capello preferring Upson or Carragher.

Capello like Ericsson before him has taken the FA's money and produced a mediocre team. It is time for an English manager to manage the English football team, not for xenophobic reasons, but so that the team have no excuses about language difficulties or cultural issues. Give the job to Harry Rednapp or Roy Hodgson they couldn't do any worse than Fabio Capello.

Doctor Who - The Big Bang

I watched this episode again last night and loved it even more, in fact I think I may watch it again tonight! Mrs NotaSheep liked it a lot but she was a little confused as she is less au fait with SciFi conceits.

If you want to read more about the episode then The Nameless Libertarian on The Appalling Strangeness has an interesting article and Wikipedia has a plot explanation if you are still confused.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Building a client state - US style

Last year I blogged about Barack Obama creating a client state in the USA just as Tony Blair's government did in the UK. Last week I blogged about Barack Obama's Democratis party's plans to '...drastically transform America’s population through mass immigration in order to guarantee their own and their allies’ dominance in U.S. government, society, and culture. The plot itself is simple: reshape the American electorate through mass immigration to reduce the political clout of the native white middle class.'

So I was unsurprised to read on Fox that:
'The Obama administration has been holding behind-the-scenes talks to determine whether the Department of Homeland Security can unilaterally grant legal status on a mass basis to illegal immigrants, a former Bush administration official who spoke with at least three people involved in those talks told FoxNews.com.

The issue was raised publicly by eight Republican senators who wrote to the White House on Monday to complain that they had heard the administration was readying a "Plan B" in case a comprehensive immigration reform bill cannot win enough support to clear Congress.

The White House would not confirm or deny the claim. It's unclear what section of the illegal immigrant population such a move would target. But the former Bush official said the discussions are real.

"The administration at the very minimum is studying legal ways to legalize people without having to go through any congressional debate about it," the source said, calling the senators' claim credible. "Whether somebody pulls the trigger on that, that's another issue." '

Ensuring an enduring Democratic party government, will they get away with it?

It's official the ball was not over the line




Thanks to No Hidden Path 79 for the spot.

I know today's England v Germany match is in Bloemfontein but here's Gil Scott Heron and 'Johannesburg'


Gil Scott Heron - 'Johannesburg'

Our friend in Indonesia?


Indonesian Justice Minister Patrialis Akbar making an incredible statement and then poorly rowing back. Remember this man before you plan a holiday to Bali and boycott Indonesia; I shall eat no more satays until Patrialis Akbar is sacked.



Thanks to Israelly Cool for the spot.

What a sad day it was when Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister


Maybe it was a shame that Tony Blair was succeeded by someone who made his period as Prime Minister seem almost successful; Gordon Brown.

Russell Howard on 'Mock The Week'

On last night's, repeat of this Thursday's, Mock The Week Russell Howard seemed upset that the Conservatives are blaming the state of the UK economy on the last Labour government. Oddly I don't ever remember him complaining about the last Labour government blaming the previous Conservative government at every opportunity over the last 13 long years.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Dr Who - The Big Bang

"The whole universe will never have existed"....

So how to escape from this?

1,894 years later...

Amy's garden... I sense some "timey wimey" aspects to this one, we seem to back at episode 1... but with no Doctor

No stars in the sky, there are no such things as stars... But what is the Sun if not a star?

Daleks in the museum! and the Pandorica and who else...? A post-it note for Amy? How come nobody else notices it; a psychic paper post-it?

Those daleks are going to wake up later aren't they?

Amy's touch opens it, time energy? But she hasn't travelled yet? But Amy's in the Pandorica! "OK kid, this is where it gets complicated!"

Now back the 1,894 years... Universe ended 102AD... Hold on Rory is not an Auton any more?

Even more "timey-wimey" stuff... and the sonic screwdriver

Ooh, two timelines; two Doctors?

History has collpased, echoes in time, the Universe never happened, last light to go out... Very odd! A Nestene duplicate... Not an Auton...

"She's mostly dead"

1996, two Amys

"Earth alone in the sky"

Great line - "Why do you have to be so human?" - "Because I am not"

Rory is an iconic image

Wouldn't flames have melted plastic Rory?

It's Rory the Nestene/Auton security guard

Even more timey-wimey stuff...

Excellent retracing steps stuff... Cheap and nasty time travel and now 2 Doctors - one not very well!

That wasn't good news he whispered was it.... 12 minutes

History is still collapsing, reality will never have happened... dying will be a result

One dalek still around

The sun is an exploding Tardis! So there are no stars...

RiverSong is experiencing Groundhog day, for 2000 years

"Fezs are cool"

Flying Daleks aren't

"Due to kill me" "the light"

Extrapolate the whole Universe from the light in the Pandorica, reboot the Universe

A moment of infinite power... almost completely impossible... big bang 2 and a nearly dead Dr

Do dalek's ever call for mercy?

"Rule 1, The Dr lies"

Now The Dr is in the Pandorica

Reality still collpasing, history still being erased...

BIG BANG 2

The light from the Pandorica recreating everything and the vortex manipulator to do the travelling but won't that kill The Doctor?

We all wake up where we ought to be ... don't remember ... cracks in time will close but The Doctor will never have been born! "He doesn't really know me yet, now he never will..."

Nice acting... and an explanation... Amy your house was too big... Amy is the Doctor?
"You are special..."

"... gottcha"?!

"Geronimo"

The Doctor escapes... but who is that... 2 Doctors again and the crack in the Tardis monitor disappearing...

Was that crack in the road there in The Lodger episode?

Love the flashbacks and the theories about two Doctors were correct and the clothing aspects... Very clever... "Remember what?"

Back to episode 1 again... and the conclusion/explanation for everything is...?

"Silly old Doctor"...

"A story in your head" So is the whole of this series a dream like Bobby Ewing's in Dallas? How does this affect "The Cannon"?

Why can't they close until he'd on the other side of the cracks?

"Bye bye Pond" But she's in the other Tardis wearing odd sunglasses...?

This will be the wedding day that never was/should have been/ will The Doctotr appear again?

Will there be a resolve?

RiverSong!

Happy or sad? "Why am I sad"?

Someone left it for you... a woman ... the book of The Doctor's life is blank!" OMG

Amy is remembering and there is "someone missing"... She's telling the story of "my raggedy Doctor" who was real. Can she Tinkerbell like bring the Doctor back?

Clever or dangerous?

Something old, something new, something BLUE? Brilliant!

And so well dressed for an imaginary friend...

The Doctor can dance... well we knew that.

The doctor leaves and there is RiverSong... Not more bloody "spoilers!"

A proposal! No not really? Oh so confusing! "River who are you?" "You're going to found out very soon and I'm sorry but that's when everything changes..."

Who's on the phone? And Amy stays with The Doctor - Good and Rory> Well you can't have everything!

Incredible episode and I will mull it over later... Mrs NotaSheep missed it, just got back so another viewing tomorrow after the football!


I have done a bit of mulling but have yet to watch it again. I liked the episode and it was refreshingly not the usual Russell T. Davies season ending full of explosions and battles. I preferred the more cerebral feel of The Big Bang. However there is a central question that has not been answered... Who, or what, was the voice in the Tardis in the last episode (The Pandorica Opens) intoning that "silence will fall"? Have I missed something, The Doctor was lured to Stonehenge by the alliance of the evil but who made the TARDIS explode? Surely it is the exploding Tardis that caused the cracks in time, that created the alliance, that imprisoned The Doctor in the Pandorica and so on... So at the end of the episode/series, we still don't know who or what was the cause or indeed why. Oh well that should give me something to think about until the Christmas special...

The Dr David Kelly story continues to intrigue ...

The Mail report that:
'Dr David Kelly: The damning new evidence that points to a cover-up by Tony Blair's government

...

Against this shadowy background, we have conducted a rigorous and thorough investigation into the mystery that surrounds the death of David Kelly. And our investigation has turned up evidence which raises still more disturbing questions.

Our new revelations include the ambiguous nature of the wording on Dr Kelly’s death certificate; the existence of an anonymous letter which says his colleagues were warned to stay away from his funeral; and an extraordinary claim that the wallpaper at Dr Kelly’s home was stripped by police in the hours after he was reported missing - but before his body was found.

Until now, details of Dr Kelly’s death certificate have never been made public.

But the certificate was obtained by a group of leading doctors who have spent almost seven years investigating the case; doctors who believe it is medically implausible that he died in the manner Hutton concluded and are alarmed at the unorthodox way the death certificate was completed.

Near the top of all British death certificates is a box headed ‘Date and place of death’, in which a doctor or coroner should declare the exact location of a death, if it has been established.

Dr Kelly’s certificate gives his date of death as July 18, 2003. It then states in reference to place of death: ‘Found dead at Harrowdown Hill, Longworth, Oxon’.

Why was the word ‘found’ used? Why was the crucial question of ‘place of death’ not answered? The death certificate should be precise about the time, cause and location of death.

The doctors who have investigated the case believe the failure to answer this question leaves open the possibility that Dr Kelly died somewhere other than Harrowdown Hill, the wood where his body was discovered. If this was the case, they are concerned the law may have been subverted over Dr Kelly’s death.

Any such irregularity would inevitably add to the pressure to reopen the case. Indeed, earlier this month it was revealed that Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who have the power to undo Hutton’s 70-year gagging order and demand a coroner’s inquest into Dr Kelly’s death, are poised to re-open the case.

To this day, the location where Dr Kelly died remains a mystery — yet it is surely the most basic requirement of an investigation into any violent or unexpected death.

Nor was the question of the location of death raised at the Hutton Inquiry.

Amazingly, Chief Inspector (now Superintendent) Alan Young of Thames Valley Police, who headed the investigation into Dr Kelly’s death, did not even give evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

Significantly, it emerged via a Freedom of Information request in 2008 that a police helicopter with heat-seeking equipment which searched for Dr Kelly on the night he disappeared did not detect his body.'
There is plenty more meat in The Mail story and do read it. I think there is even more to emerge...

Dr Who - genius spot


Spotted on the wall of the kitchen in The Lodger episode. An absolutely genius spot by Flick Filosopher. Take a look at MaryAnn Johanson's Dr Who related articles, as she says she 'drinks too much wine and thinks way too much about such inconsequences as movies, TV, books, and the meaning of life.' I disagree, great speculation and spots...

Friday, 25 June 2010

The UN Human Rights Council is a tragic joke

Frida Ghitis in The Miami Herald has a look at the UN Human Rights Council and doesn't like what she sees.
'Let's look at the Council's Advisory Committee: The group is chaired by Halima Warzazi of Morocco, whose history-making contribution to human rights came when Saddam Hussein used poison gas against Iraq's Kurds in 1988. Warzazi proudly blocked the U.N.'s move to condemn the massacre. The vice-chair of the Committee is the always impressive Swiss diplomat Jean Ziegler, who helped Libya's despot Moammar Qaddafi create the charmingly named ``al-Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,'' and became its first winner.

Ziegler who, like the rest of the Council, is obsessed with Israel's sins to the exclusion of any other problem on Earth, has shared the Qaddafi prize honor with Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan, Hugo Chávez and other luminaries of freedom. The latest ``expert adviser'' is Nicaragua's Miguel D'Escoto Brockman, admirer of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and defender of Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

...

Packed with representatives of dictatorships, the UNHRC, says (Hillel) Neuer, is little more than a ``mutual praise society.'' It has stopped monitoring abuses in places like the Congo and Cuba. And, while Iran hangs people in the street, Libya imprisons and tortures dissidents and massacres continue unpunished in other corners of the world, the UNHRC spends almost all of its time condemning Israel.'

I've blogged about the UNHRC before and it is an organisation that makes my blood boil.


Thanks to UN Watch for the spot.

Americans discover their version of the Norman Tebbit cricket test

American Power Blog discovers that not all Americans support the USA, in this case preferring Mexico, just as in the UK so many British born Pakistanis support Pakistan rather than England at cricket.

Are 'sex domains' a good thing?

After much discussion the board of the net overseer, Icann, has given initial approval for the creation of the .xxx domain. This mean that the 'porn-only' domain suffix could be in use by the end of this year, Icann has 110,000 pre-reservations for domains in this area. xxx domains will be easier for companies to filter out of searches and stop access to but will all existing 'porn' domains be forced to move to an .xxx domain? What about domains with massive current traffic, like voyeurweb.com? Who will decide what is a porn site? This looks like a confusing area and I don't see a resolution soon.

I hate diving footballers

There'll always be an England

It has always irritated me that whilst Scotland & Wales have their own 'anthems' England does not, leading to the situation where English athletes at the Commonwealth games as well as footballers and Rugby players at World Cups receive medals or line up to God Save the Queen. God Save the Queen is the UK national anthem and I think that England using it as well cannot help but make the other parts of the United Kingdom think they are merely appendages to England (albeit that they are). I have long thought that England should have its own anthem, I would choose Land of Hope and Glory as that is good and rousing but I would be almost as happy with Jerusalem which will this year be England's anthem at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

So I was interested to hear that Greg Mulholland the Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West raised the matter in the House of Commons today:
'All the English Members of the House thoroughly enjoyed England's qualification yesterday, and it was wonderful to see the cross of St George flying. However, it is still frustrating to hear England singing the wrong anthem-the anthem of the United Kingdom. Following the historic decision to use "Jerusalem" at the Commonwealth games, may we have a debate in the House about properly establishing an English national anthem for when England, as opposed to the United Kingdom, compete?'


Sir George Young's reply was probably wrong as well as evasive (my comments in italics): 'I am sure that England's victory yesterday was celebrated not just in England but in Scotland and Wales.' I think that in many parts of Scotland and almost as many in Wales the hatred of the English is stronger than Unionists choose to believe

Keeping the plane of the 1980s flying

An interesting LA Times article explaining how Northrop Grumman are keeping the B2 stealth bomber flying undetected by radar.
'Overhauling a stealth bomber, which must be done every seven years, costs $60 million, on average, and usually takes a year.

...

The 20 B-2s in service were built at a cost of $2.1 billion each, with many parts one-of-a-kind. Contributing to the high cost of an overhaul is the meticulous care that must be taken in restoring the bomber's dark gray coating, known as "advanced high-frequency material," which is the key to keeping it nearly invisible to radar.

...

the B-2's coat, which acts more like a skin than paint, is sensitive to heat and humidity.

The high-tech coating acts like a sponge that absorbs radar waves as they strike the plane. Even though the bomber has a wingspan nearly as long as a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, it looks the size of a tennis ball on a radar screen. The chemical composition of the coating is top secret.'

I have a thing for certain planes and the B2 may get there eventually, but its not a patch on the Blackbird SR-71.

Global Warming Roundup

If you read nothing else today, please read The Daily Bayonet's latest Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up. Many interesting links to digest and pass on to your 'warmist' friends.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Hillel Neuer making sense again at the United Nations


United Nations hypocrisy exposed again, not that it will do any good as there is only one Country that will be censured - Israel.

Viewing figures?

BBC Alba is the BBC's Scottish Gaelic service and tonight is showing Scotland vs Denmark in the FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifier. I wonder what their viewing figures are and how much each viewer is being subsidised to the tune of.

The Budget aftermath

From listening/watching/reading the BBC's post Budget coverage you would expect the Country to be in a state of rage. However the first post-budget opinion poll (reported in The Sun) shows that 57% of those polled thought the Budget was right for the Country and 43% think that George Osborne was doing a good job. Just remind me what was Gordon Brown's approval rating in April?

The BBC are pushing the Labour narrative for all they are worth, the Conservatives need to lance that festering boil.


Tomorrow (Friday) marks the fourth anniversary of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit's kidnapping and incarceration by Hamas in Gaza. Israel has, during this period, allowed tonnes of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and has now relaxed restrictions on the transfer of goods. Shalit has not even been allowed a visit by the Red Cross.

When was the last time you heard the BBC or other non-Israeli media mention Gilad Shalit? Put pressure on the world's media - 'What about Gilad Shalit' - or are Israeli lives not worth a mention on the BBC?

Cuts or not?

Burning Our Money explains the old fallacy about cuts.
'So the cuts are going to be long and deep, which nobody can deny.

Well, nobody that is, except extremely naive people who simply look at the government's spending projections. People like John Redwood, who at the TPA's budget briefing today, drew attention to the plain fact that under the Osborne plan, total public spending is not facing any cut at all. In fact, it is projected to increase from £697bn this year to £758bn in 2015-16, a rise of 9%.

...

when we look at today's spending plans in those simple old naive cash terms we find the following:

1. Departmental spending on current services (including all those doctors and nurses etc) is planned to be roughly unchanged over the next 5 years
2. Departmental spending on capital projects is planned to fall by £13bn pa (23%) - the entire cut decreed by Darling
3. Annually Managed Expenditure (largely welfare) is projected to increase by £74bn (23%)

So apart from capital spending, where are those cuts?

The fact is that when people speak of cuts, what they're usually talking about is the cash spending plan deflated by the projected increase in average prices across the economy (GDP deflator). As noted above, total cash spending is projected to increase by 9%. But with average prices forecast to increase by 13%, the inference is that real spending is planned to be cut by 4%, with much bigger cuts for many individual programmes.

But what if the price of the stuff the public sector buys increases by less than 13%? Sure, we know that for most of the last 13 years, the price of public purchases (including labour) has increased much faster than average economy-wide prices, but that's not an immutable law.

If through a mix of pay freezes/cuts and contract renegotiation the price of government purchases could be held down, then suddenly the "cuts" start to disappear. Indeed, if the price increase could be held below 9% over the 5 years, then overall public spending in real terms doesn't get cut at all.'

I wonder if the BBC will allow this sort of narrative to affect their Budget attacks.

US economy is heading for collapse

Coyote Prime has written a well researched and very scary piece of analysis and prediction. Please take a read but prepare to be very depressed by it.

Jelena Jankovic skills on the tennis court


From the French Open but I think still relevant to Wimbledon.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Business idea for Duracell or Ariston

Sign up the winner, or maybe both of, of tonight's Wimbledon 1st round match between the American John Isner and the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. Currently 59 all in the 5th set. The replacement for the Duracell bunny or for Ariston's 'On and on and on...'

John Isner looks completely worn out but Nicolas Mahut looks as fresh as an, albeit slight tired, daisy!

And after 9 hours 40+ minutes their first toilet break... and the match is suspended, shame.

Support Germany tonight!

Germany have only once failed to make it to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup; that was in 1938 and we all know what they did in 1939. So support Germans tonight, we mustn't let them drop out of the World Cup so early!

However would England rather play Germany or Ghana? So really we want Ghana to beat Germany or at least draw and for Australia to beat Serbia or at least hold them to a draw.

The Balen report will not be released

The Press Gazette report that:
'A Freedom of Information campaigner today lost his five year bid to access an internal BBC report on its coverage of the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Court of Appeal rejected solicitor Stephen Sugar's attempt to overturn an earlier decision that the report was exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act because the corporation held it for "purposes of journalism, art or literature".

The earlier decision by Justice Irwin found that an Information Tribunal was wrong in law when it ruled the report was not covered by the exemption and so should be disclosed.

Court of Appeal judges - the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, Lord Justice Moses and Lord Justice Munby – today upheld that decision and rejected Sugar's appeal.'
A victory for secrecy and the BBC's continued bias against Israel.

England v Slovenia (the bloody noise)





Thanks to Obnoxio the Clown for the vuvuzela related spot.

The truth about the Mavi Marmara


Video that you won't see on the BBC.



Thanks to Theo Spark for the spot.

The Labour party and the rise in VAT

I presume that the Labour party will publicly commit itself to reversing the rise in VAT to 20% as soon as they are elected to power. If not then all the whining about unfairness is just hot air.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Emergency Budget - some alternative views

1. Chris Stokel-Walker has some ideas regarding how 'To stick it to George Osborne'. It's a great piece, here's a few extracts:
'There are some strange anomalies in the food VAT system. Were I to buy a live horse (as my girlfriend would want me to – though presumably not to kill and eat later) I would have to pay the standard rate of VAT. If, though, a friendly farmer has already saved me the bother of killing it (I’m really really sorry – you know I would only buy live horses to give to you), then I can have a whole dead horse – or horse cutlets – vacpacked and sold to me as exotic meat, VAT-free. Why? Live horses aren’t considered a recognised food species. Dead horses, presumably, are.

...

Monkey nuts (peanuts in their shells) fall under the zero rate; the second you remove the horrible outer shell, they become KP nuts (or some other equally popular brand) and you have to pay VAT. It’s not even the roasting or salting that makes the difference – it’s the shell. Honest.

...

If you pop into your local bakery from today, eye up those gingerbread men with caution. If their little toes have been dipped in chocolate (because gingerbread men’s feet would get blisters if they had to walk without shoes), then the government has ruled them to be too extravagant. They’re parading around in their chocolate boots, while your average Tom, Dick or Harry Gingerbread has to make do with a pittance. ‘Gingerbread men decorated with chocolate’ come under the standard rate of VAT, ‘unless this amounts to no more than a couple of dots for eyes’. Bakers of Britain: let your gingerbread men and women run naked, free like pre-Lapsarian Adam and Eve! We’ll have no fancy winklepickers, thank you: this is austerity Britain.

...

Millionaire’s Shortbread is zero-rated while plebian chocolate-covered shortbread is taxed at the full rate. I don’t think I need to explain why that one is funny.'



2. Mr Eugenides has the killer phrase: 'Vince Cable looks like he's swallowed a shit-flavoured landmine.' Indeed he did.

Some thoughts on the Coalition's first budget

George Osborne's budget today was commendably brief and unlike those of Gordon Brown seemingly straightforward. It was also not soporific as Alistair Darling's have been.

Whilst the BBC have been very keen to push the 'narrative' that the VAT rise to 20% is the most important feature, I was more struck by the re-indexing of pensions to salaries, the breaking of this link being something that the labour party decried when it was done but then spent 13 years not restoring. I was also struck by the balancing act that George Osborne performed over Capital Gains Tax, very carefully played indeed.

Of course the real meat of the budget is the debt reduction plan, without which the UK would be in severe trouble. Before discussing the planned reduction I think it most important that it is stated why we are in the mess that we are. The last labour government left power with the situation of the government spending nearly 25 per cent more than it receives in taxation. Labour claim that this deficit is due to the recession, it is not. People spend much time agonising as to how much of the deficit is due to the recession (cyclical) and how much would be there anyway (structural).
So when George Osborne talks about cutting the 'structural' deficit, you know that he is tackling the mess left behind by Gordon Brown not that caused by the recession. We have a structural deficit because Gordon ran budget deficits when the country was at the peak of the longest boom in its history. Gordon Brown set in place a spending system to spew money into public services instead of paying back old debts and storing up money for the bad times.


The changes to income tax thresholds are also important and I was impressed by the first move towards a £10,000 threshold for paying Income Tax. It is a ridiculous state of affairs that people pay Income Tax and then receive various Credits and Benefits back from the government. This state of affairs was engineered by Gordon Brown as part of his plan to make as many people as possible dependant on the government for part of their income, thus increasing the power of the State.

The changes to CGT and VAT will be attacked by the Labour party and the left wing press, including of course the BBC. However they should look at the recent OECD paper that showed that consumption taxes such as VAT have the least effect upon growth for the money they raise. The two taxes that have the largest negative effect on growth compared to the amount they raise are capital taxes (such as CGT) and corporate profit taxes (such as Corporation Tax). Between the two extremes comes Income tax.

The pain starts today

But will George Osborne be brave enough to do what Labour, the Unions and the BBC have set their minds and words against? Burning Our Money has a good piece on this.

The world's future?

The Saudi Gazette has an op-ed piece by Abdullah Hakim Quick that should be required reading for all UK, EU and world politicians (my emphasis):
'Muslims are 23 percent of the world’s population. There are over 170 million Muslims in Indonesia, over 70 million in China and over 54 million in the former Soviet States.
The majority of Muslims, according to population studies, are youth and children. Children below five years of age represent 43 percent of the Muslim world! By the year 2020, our population is expected to reach 2.5 billion, Insha Allah. In Canada, startling statistical data has been released. One in three children born in Canadian hospitals today is from a Muslim family. What does this mean to us?
The future is bright for Muslims if we make the right choices today. We are blessed with amazing riches in the Muslim world. Over 40 percent of the mineral wealth of the planet lies under Muslim countries.
We have thousands of doctors, engineers, scientists and intellectuals. We spend billions in technology, especially for the military. But we still are humiliated and destroyed. We cannot wake up in the morning and forget Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, and other parts of our Ummah. Allah said:

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah (i.e. became disobedient to Allah), and He caused them to forget their own selves (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the rebellious.” (Qur’an, 59:18-19)
Forgetfulness is a state of mind. When the person forgets Allah, they are in a dangerous state. The path of Islam is clear, but who will take hold of Islam? Who will stand up and be true and sincere Muslims? Allah also revealed:

“Have We not made for him two eyes, and a tongue and two lips? And shown him the two ways (good and evil)? But he has not attempted to pass on the path that is steep (i.e. the path which will lead to goodness and success).” (Qur’an, 90:8-11)

Tribalism will lead us to destruction. Divisions based on color, organizations, and groups will decimate our ranks. We need a new Islamic World Order. We need people who put the Qur’an and the Sunnah above everything. We need people who do not discriminate because of color or language, who do not scandalize other believers and struggle with each other for power, who are part of our society and are not controlled by un-Islamic culture, who do not resort to the unbelievers to judge between them in their courts, and finally people who are not afraid to speak openly yet do not attack individuals without just cause.
If we do not mend our ways, Allah has made a promise:

“O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of Allah, and never fear the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (Qur’an, 5:54) – The Message '

Elsewhere on the web - Global Warming

American Thinker has some Climate Change news and statistics that will not please Al Gore or the BBC, but then the truth hurts.
"New scientific discoveries are casting doubt on how much of the warming of the twentieth century was natural and how much was man-made, and governments around the world are beginning to confront the astronomical cost of reducing emissions. Economists, meanwhile, are calculating that the cost of slowing or stopping global warming exceeds the social benefits."
US Senator James Inhofe

'For years now, alarmists have arrogantly ignored the cooling we’ve experienced worldwide since 1999, continuing their demands that we sacrifice everything – jobs, money, comfort, progress and ultimately, freedom -- to halt fictitious “runaway global warming.” Such unfounded hysteria seems all the more inane after hearing the unvarnished truth from the experts at ICCC-4, beginning with their predictions that the global cooling will likely continue for the next few decades.

AT readers are no doubt well aware that, thanks in large part to the efforts of WUWT’s indefatigable Anthony Watts, we’ve known for years that over 90% of American stations misreport temperature data by between 1ºC and 5ºC. Furthermore, “smoothing” adjustments to “homogenize” station data to that of surrounding stations and dismissal of the biasing phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island Effect have grossly exaggerated 20th-century warming.

further investigation uncovered by a team lead by ICCC-4 presenter Joe D’Aleo revealed that the two primary U.S. sources of global temperature have also been manipulating land-based instrumental readings. NOAA has been strategically deleting cherry-picked, cooler-reporting weather observation stations from the temperature data and NASA has intentionally replaced the dropped NOAA readings with those of stations located in much warmer locales.

And that’s just the beginning. As D’Aleo explained, “homogenization and other adjustments blend the good with the bad, usually cooling off early warm periods, producing a warming where none existed.” For instance, NOAA removed UHIE adjustments from US Data in 2007, which “changed a cooling trend since 1940 to a warming trend.”

As Easterbrook noted, computer models are the only basis for claiming CO2 is causing global warming. But IPCC models predicted 1ºF warming from 2000 to 2010, yet there’s been no warming beyond the 1998 level. So the models have been proven wrong.'


There's lot more in this article that you must read, print and carry with you to show to 'warmists'.

Monday, 21 June 2010

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue - The good, the OK and the vile

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue returns to the BBC tonight, 18:30 on Radio 4 - of course, that's the good news. The OK news is that Jack Dee is back in the chair, whilst he is no 'Humph' he is better than the others who tried to take on the role last year. The vile news is that Jeremy Hardy is on the panel, whilst I like his humour I find it hard to forget his reprehensible views on Israel.

Antarctic glaciers and climate change

Last August the BBC reported that:
'One of the largest glaciers in Antarctica is thinning four times faster than it was 10 years ago, according to research seen by the BBC.

A study of satellite measurements of Pine Island glacier in west Antarctica reveals the surface of the ice is now dropping at a rate of up to 16m a year.

Since 1994, the glacier has lowered by as much as 90m, which has serious implications for sea-level rise.

The work by British scientists appears in Geophysical Research Letters.

The team was led by Professor Duncan Wingham of University College London (UCL).

...

Calculations based on the rate of melting 15 years ago had suggested the glacier would last for 600 years. But the new data points to a lifespan for the vast ice stream of only another 100 years.

...

Professor Box told BBC News: "The science community has been surprised by how sensitive these large glaciers are to climate warming. First it was the glaciers in south Greenland and now as we move further north in Greenland we find retreat at major glaciers. It's like removing a cork from a bottle."'
Scary and backed by science! Well it seems not as today the BBC report that:
'The discovery of an underwater ridge in West Antarctica could help explain why there has been an acceleration in the ice flowing from a glacier in the area.

Researchers suggest that the base of Pine Island Glacier once sat on the ridge, but recently became detached from the feature.

The team made the discovery during surveys that used a unmanned submarine to examine waters under the glacier.

The findings have been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.'

The new article is much more measured and calm than its predecessor and I presume will get less attention as a result.

The eighty-eigth weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's winner is the Rand Corporation for its report on Pakistan's links to terrorist groups.
"A number of militant networks – including al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad – remain entrenched in Pakistan and pose a grave threat to the state and the region," said Seth Jones, one of the authors.

"Pakistan has long used its support of militant groups as a foreign policy tool, so ending that will take time."

Pakistan linked to Islamic terrorism, "No shit, Sherlock"

14 amazing satellite photos


14 amazing satellite photos including this one from above Ground Zero on 9/11.

I wonder if Kim Jong-il gave tactical advice during that match

I see in the North Korean news that before today's match with Portugal, presumably whilst still feeling happy with their narrow loss to Brazil, the North Koreans were claiming that:
'North Korean leader Kim Jong-il "gives regular tactical advice during matches using mobile phones that are not visible to the naked eye," the team's manager Kim Jong-hun told ESPN Thursday. The coach dutifully told the sports channel that Kim Jong-il developed the James-Bond technology himself.'
I wonder if Kim Jong-il will be as happy to takle the credit for his team's 7-0 thrashing by Portugal? Maybe the phones weren't working... In the meantime have a look at Daily Mash's take on the North Korea v Brazil match here.


Thanks to Mr Eugenides for the news spot.

Informed or told?

Something has been intriguing me for a while. Some years ago when a soldier died in Afghanistan or Iraq the BBC rubric was "their family have been informed", then it changed to "their family have been told". Now it seems to oscillate between the two wordings. Is there a reason for the change or does the choice of word indicate something?

Trinny and Susannah - What they did next


"For more from Trinny and Susannah What They Did Next visit iVillage"

More on iVillage every Monday to Thursday for four weeks from Monday June 21. Yes it is a spoof, but looks like a good one.

And here's a strangely erotic image from their ITV series...






Thanks to The Mail for the spot.

Spot the difference - Barack Obama and Tony Hayward


Barack Obama playing golf yet again and Tony Hayward yachting. The difference is that the media will publicise one 'PR gaff' but not the other.



Thanks to Instapundit for the image.

Happy Summer Solstice

The Earth's axial tilt is now most inclined towards the sun and is at its maximum of 23° 26'. Thus at 12:28BST (11:28 UTC) it is the Summer Solstice.

Dr Who - The Pandorica Opens

Now that was an intriguing one. Various things come to mind:

Rory was a far more convincing Auton than Mickey was, maybe the technology has improved. Still a shock that love couldn't win him over, maybe Dr Who is growing up and realising that love cannot conquer all. Although as Rory shoots Amy and Amy is in the next series I assume a way will be found...

Always nice to see Dr Who giving a nod to other SciFi. The Maldovarium bar scene was Star Wars light, the Chalmun's Cantina hinted at through a beaded curtain. Also the words cut into the cliff at the beginning of time was a little Hitch-hikers Guide to the Universe.

Having wondered who's in the Pandorica and hoping it was another Doctor, it finally struck me about 30 seconds before it struck the Doctor that it was to be a prison for him, sqwee... Wasn't convinced by the alliance of the enemies though, can't really see Daleks and Cybermen allying for any reason.

So an episode ending with Amy shot by an Auton from about six inches away, RiverSong in an exploding Tardis behind a wall of stone and the Doctor being locked away by his worst enemies into an unopenable box; hmmm looks tricky!


So what's the way out? Obviously Amy is the answer; although she was the trap set for the Doctor, I feel she may also be the key to his escape. Rory and RiverSong seem likely to survive; Rory for sure, he cannot die twice in a few weeks and I fear Professor RiverSong will be around to annoy us for quite a while yet.

Israel - Weathering the coming storm

An interesting article from Jewish World Review has reached me; entitled 'Weathering the coming storm', it is by Caroline B. Glick and I think it worthy of repetition. I have copy and pasted the whole article below, if that infringes copyright or the JWR want it removed for any reason then I will remove it.

'Israel is endangered today as it has never been before. The Turkish-Hamas flotilla two weeks ago precipitated a number of dangerous developments. Rather than attend to all of them, Israel's leadership is devoting itself almost exclusively to contending with the least dangerous among them while ignoring the emerging threats with the potential to lead us to great calamities.

Since the Navy's lethal takeover of the Mavi Marmara, Israel has been stood before an international diplomatic firing squad led by the UN and Europe and supported by the Obama administration. Firmly backed by European and largely unopposed by Washington, the UN is moving swiftly towards setting up a new Goldstone-style anti-Israel kangaroo court. That canned tribunal will rule that Israel has no right to defend itself and attempt to force Israel to end its lawful naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Fearing this outcome, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bowed to US President Barack Obama's demand that Israel set up an Israeli inquest of the Mavi Marmara takeover and permit foreigners to oversee its proceedings. Netanyahu also agreed to scale-back Israel's blockade significantly, and allow international bodies to have a role in its far more lax enforcement. Netanyahu has made these concessions with the full knowledge that they will strengthen Hamas in the hopes that they would weaken the international onslaught against Israel.

Unfortunately, it took no time at all to see that his hopes were misplaced. Even before Netanyahu announced these concessions, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon already announced that they make no difference to him or to his friends in Washington and Brussels. They will move ahead with their plans to appoint a new kangaroo court charged with asserting that Israel has no right to defend itself.

As bad as all of this is, in truth, it is unimportant relative to the other consequences of the flotilla incident. The impact of the diplomatic campaign now being waged against Israel will be felt in the medium and long term. In the immediate term, Israel is facing two threats that dwarf what it faces from the UN.

Recent statements by the leaders of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah make clear that the members of the Iranian axis view the Mavi Marmara episode as a strategic victory in their ongoing campaign against Israel. The international stampede against Israel at the UN, the White House and throughout Europe exposed Israel's Achilles heel. The Mavi Marmara demonstrated that on the one hand the IDF cannot enforce its blockade of Gaza without the use of force. On the other hands it taught Israel's enemies that by forcing Israel to use force, Iran, Turkey and their allies incited a UN-EU-US lynch mob against Israel.

Iran, Turkey, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah are moving rapidly to exploit their new discovery. In the very near future, Israel will face off against Iranian, Lebanese, and Turkish ships complemented by ships full of Israel-hating German Jews and other Jewish and non-Jewish Hamas supporters.

The Mavi Marmara showed Iran and its allies hat they can win strategic victories against Israel by giving the IDF no option other than using force against them. This means that Israel can bank on the prospect that all the ships they are dispatching will be populated by suicide protesters. Indeed the Iranians have openly admitted this. Mohammad Ali Nouraee is one of the regime officials involved in dispatching the Iranian ships to the Gaza coast. In an interview this week with Iran's official IRNA news agency Nouraee said that the passengers aboard the ships, "are willing to become martyred in this way."

The Lebanese ships are being organized by Hizbullah-affiliated individuals and the Turkish ships are being organized by the IHH terror group that organized the Mavi Marmara. Hizbullah's penchant for dispatching suicide squads is of course well known. And the IHH showed its devotion to suicide protests on the Mavi Marmara. So it is fairly clear that the passengers aboard the ships from both countries intend to force the IDF to kill them.

The intensification of the suicide protest campaign against Israel is dangerous for two reasons. First, it is a model that can be and in all likelihood will be replicated on air and land and it can be replicated anywhere. Israel can and should expect mobs of suicide protesters marching on Gaza to force Israel to surrender control over its borders. Israel can expect mobs of suicide protesters marching on Israeli embassies and other government installations around the world in an attempt to increase its diplomatic isolations.

In the air, Israel can expect charter flights to take off from airports around the world with a few dozen kamikaze protesters who will force the IAF to shoot them down as they approach Israeli airspace.

Iran and its allies have found a weak chink in Israel's armor. They will use it any way they can. Israel needs to quickly develop tactics and strategies for contending with this.

The second and far more dangerous implication of Israel's enemies' aggressive adoption of suicide protests is that by ensuring violence will be used, they increase the chances of war. Indeed, Iran and its allies clearly believe that suicide protests are a vehicle for initiating a full-scale war against Israel on what they view as favorable footing. According to Bahrain's al Wasat press service, Hussain Amir, Iran's ambassador to Bahrain threatened this week that, "If the [Zionist] entity dares to direct any aggressive attack [against the Iranian ships] then it is certain that [Israel] will be met by a much stronger and firm blow."

Syrian President Bashar Assad told the BBC Wednesday that the region is moving towards war. And the Turkish government is continuing to escalate its assaults on Israel. On Thursday Turkey threatened to cut off diplomatic relations with Israel if Israel does not issue a formal apology for its takeover of the Mavi Marmara and pay restitution to the families of the terrorists killed on board the ship.

Obviously the most disturbing aspect of the war threats is the specter of Turkish naval vessels attacking the Israeli navy. If Turkey — a NATO member -- participates in a war against Israel, the repercussions for Israel's relations with NATO member states, including the US, as well as the EU are liable to be unprecedented.

While going to war against Israel would be a major gamble for Turkey, in recent years it has not shied away from high stakes challenges to its NATO allies. Indeed, one of Turkey's ruling AKP party's first actions upon taking power in 2003 was to deny the US military the right to invade Iraq from its territory. The deleterious impact of Turkey's refusal to come to the aid of its NATO ally at the time has been felt by US forces in Iraq ever since.

In the days and weeks to come, Israel's political and military leaders must move resolutely to prepare to withstand these new threats that arisen in the aftermath of the Mavi Marmara episode. To meet the expected deluge of suicide protesters on sea, land and air, Israel must immediately acquire non-lethal means to disperse these protests. This involves purchasing and producing tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and other non-lethal weaponry. These non-lethal weapons must be rapidly distributed to IDF units deployed along the frontier with Gaza and to the Navy. They must also be supplied to Israeli security teams tasked with protecting government installations worldwide. Forces must undergo intense and immediate training in crowd control and mob dispersal to be ready to meet what is clearly on the way.

Diplomatically, Israel needs to hold its new line on the Gaza blockade. Netanyahu's buckling to US-EU-UN pressure has encouraged them to redouble their assault on Israel. The new line must be held at all costs. Otherwise, Israel will have no diplomatic line of defense as the approaching threats become reality.

Strategically, our leaders need to consider what our aims will be in the coming war. For instance, as far as Turkey is concerned, Israel's aim will be to end the war as quickly as possible. Here the tools of diplomacy with NATO members and public diplomacy with the American people will be crucial to convincing Turkey to stand down. They must be aggressively and energetically utilized without delay.

From a military perspective, evasion is preferable to confrontation. This understanding must guide naval operations towards Turkish forces.

As for Iran, Israel's aim must be to prolong the war as long as necessary to secure its strategic objective of denying Iran nuclear weapons. Moreover, it is important to use both kinetic and non-kinetic means to change the relative power balance between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime. While in all likelihood today the Iranian opposition green movement is unable to overthrow the regime, if Iran initiates a war against Israel, Israel must use the opportunity the war affords to change that balance of power.

Once Israel's political and military leaders determine the strategic goals of a regional war, they must move swiftly to outfit and train the IDF to fight it. This war will certainly be different from its predecessors and Israel's strategic goals — and the clear strategic and tactical preferences of its enemies — dictate the training that the IDF must initiate immediately.

The longer term lesson of the Mavi Marmara incident, and the threats that emerged in its wake is that war is too serious a subject to leave to generals. The IDF and the Defense Ministry clearly misunderstood the nature of the threat posed by the Turkish-Hamas flotilla. Indeed, recent reports that until the Mavi Marmara Israel wasn't even collecting intelligence on Turkey despite its obvious, multiyear transformation from ally to enemy underlines the fact that the IDF is woefully incapable of assessing, understanding and preparing for the threats Israel faces.

In light of the IDF's failure to understand Turkey's transformation from ally to enemy in a timely manner, its incompetent planning for the Mavi Marmara takeover and its problematic performance in both Operation Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War, Netanyahu must create an external body empowered to assess and dictate the means for preparing for emerging threats. This body can either be a new department in the Prime Minister's Bureau or the National Security Council can be empowered to perform this function. While this is not the most urgent matter on the national agenda, the establishment of such a body should be a central mission of the government.

The Iranian ships are already en route, and the ships from Lebanon could appear at any moment. The mass demonstrations against Israel throughout the world and the threatened violence from the Hamas-supporting Israeli Arab leadership indicate that mobs of suicide protesters could appear anywhere with no prior warning.

Time is of the essence. No, Israel does not want another Goldstone kangaroo court. But right now, kangaroo courts are not our biggest problem.'



JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.

The BBC and Peter Mandelson

This Telegraph piece sums up so much that is wrong about the symbiotic relationship between the 'impartial' BBC and New Labour, especially Peter Mandelson 9my emphasis):
'Lord Mandelson may have lost power, but he appears to retain a remarkable degree of control over the BBC.

Mandrake hears that the former business secretary has been given a veto over a fly-on-the-wall documentary about him by Hannah Rothschild, the sister of his close friend Nat Rothschild.

Excerpts were due to be broadcast at the Hay literary festival, but the screening was cancelled.

"Hannah Rothschild's film The Real PM: A Portrait of the Real Peter Mandelson has been withdrawn on the insistence of the subject," said the organisers.

The peer cancelled the showing, I understand, because a separate interview with him had not yet been recorded.

"He wants to nuance the final version as much as possible, so has insisted that nothing can be shown until he is certain that it will include an interview with him," I am told.

It can be disclosed that the BBC agreed a contract with Miss Rothschild this month after the documentary was rejected by Channel Four executives who were concerned about its independence.

The BBC insists that it is adhering to its strict editorial guidelines: "We look forward to showing the film as part of BBC Four's Storyville strand when it's finished." '

Words fail me...

Barack Obama loses construction workers a day's pay


Don't expect to hear about this on the BBC.




Thanks to Jammie Wearing Fool for the spot.

Today is the longest day

Enjoy it, it's downhill from today!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

What?

Two books found on Amazon.com, both by Keyser B. Soze. First 399 Breasts: The Ultimate Boobs Photo Collection and second 199 Vaginas: The Ultimate Photo Collection. Curious, very curious.

Here are extracts from the books' product descriptions:
'Topless, Topless, Topless! Color photos clippings of over 399 breasts from around the world. If you think you have seen one teat and thus seen them all, you will need to think again. Female breasts (also slang "tits") vary in size, firmness, color, and nipple shape... which has never been more apparent. How they sit, how they tilt, how the muscles are structured, how the chests muscles pull... There are pretty breasts, fat breasts, skinny breasts, perfect breasts... and frankly breasts from every possible angle and direction and position, aroused or not...'

'Vaginas, vaginas, and even MORE vaginas. Feel like a gynecologist when you see how close some of these photos take you to the love canal, also known as the "pussy". These color pictures range from three inches away to three feet away. Men and lesbians alike will love comparing the different vagina pictures, all fully nude / naked, all in full color...'


It would seem that Keyser B. Soze has some other tomes available to purchase, including 199 Asses: The Ultimate Female Butt Collection and 99 Penises: The Ultimate Photo Collection.

Sharia law excess?



'This is an actual photo of a women’s clothing store in Tehran. The manikin breasts have been removed on orders of the vice police during the current crackdown on “un-Islamic” bad hejab practices. Isn’t this a shocking image? I believe volumes could be written about this.'



Thanks to Iranian and Creeping Sharia for the spot and Islam for the inspiration.

Every disaster is an opportunity for the EU

Marta Andreasen, the European Commission's former chief accountant knows more about the workings of the EU than most people. So her article in today's Telegraph is well worth a read if you want to know what the EU is up to:
'At last week's EU summit David Cameron, in his first Brussels outing as the newly-elected Prime Minister, made clear that the UK was not happy at the prospect of having its tax and spending "peer reviewed" by other EU members before it could be put into effect.

But within minutes of the meeting ending, and despite signs that other countries recognised the problem for Britain, the Commission said it would bring forward its proposals just the same, by the end of this month.

...

on Thursday the EU leaders met to discuss the "peer review" plan, which would require all countries to submit annual national Budget details to Brussels before presenting them to their own MPs. The proposal is that from 2011, "in the interests of strengthening budgetary discipline across the EU", member states would have to present their budgetary plans to the Commission each spring, "taking account of national budgetary procedures".

I cannot say I am surprised to see the EU taking the opportunity to increase its powers. Yet it is almost unbelievable that it now demands the power to intervene in our own national budgets when it cannot properly manage its own. One could not make it up.

...

Now picture the situation at budget time. Once a year the EU's Budget Commissioner will sit around the table together with his "expert team" of civil servants - all well paid and with jobs for life - holding 27 booklets containing the draft budgets of all the member states.

They will have no clue about the diverse public sectors of all the different states, but will nonetheless attempt to give opinions on how many staff the Germany defence ministry should employ, or what costs Italian social security should cover for families with a handicapped member, or how many state schools should be closed down in Poland.

Then their recommendations would be passed to the Council of Ministers. A curious meeting would take place at the Justus Lipsius oval room where the Greek finance minister would be able to question the British chancellor about how much he spends on equipment for his troops in Afghanistan, or the Portuguese minister might tell the French that they should reduce their unemployment benefit.

Would this exercise solve the crisis? No. But it is the thin end of the wedge, and a big step further towards economic and political integration which the EU has been seeking since 1950, without our knowledge.'

Not great is it?

What is happening at the World Cup?

Germany lose one - nil to Serbia. Spain lose one - nil to Switzerland, France draw nil - nil with Uruguay and then lose two - nil to Mexico. Meanwhile Italy draw one - one with Paraguay and now one - one with New Zealand. It looks as though England are not the only 'fancied' European team to be underperforming. The received wisdom is that the less fancied countries have learnt how to play the top teams. I am not so sure as Argentina seem to have had few problems with Nigeria and South Korea and the Netherlands likewise defeating decent teams from Denmark and Japan.

Celebrities with and without makeup



Smashing Lists has some very interesting photos of female celebrities with and without make-up. Above is Keira Knightley, the above link also has Penelope Cruz, Avril Lavigne, Cameron Diaz, Pamela Anderson, Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, Beyonce and Angelina Jolie.

Cute poppy meets a very large beetle

"I am a Liberal Man"


Jeremy Taylor - "I'm a Liberal Man" - Don't we all know someone like the 'voice' of this song - "I bet he isn't even English, he's another bloody Jew" - I wonder if he works at the BBC?

Wind power, just not reliable enough

I have blogged before about Wind Farms not producing enough or often any electricity on still days so I was intrigued to learn that also Wind farm owners will receive thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing. This is because The National Grid fears that on breezy summer nights, wind farms could actually cause a surge in the electricity supply which is not met by demand from businesses and households.

Maybe Chris Huhne could find the time in his busy personal life to honestly re-evaluate the practicalities of increasing reliance on wind power.

Criticism of the goose does not mean criticism of the Obama

The BBC report that:
'BP CEO Tony Hayward has faced fresh criticism for taking time off to go sailing with his son instead of dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The White House said the move was one of a "long line of PR gaffes and mistakes" by Mr Hayward. '
Oddly the long article has no mention of Barack Obama's 6 rounds of golf in 58 days; I wonder why not...

BP - humour from the jaws of despair

Logo contest, 800 entries and counting to redesign BP's logo, post Gulf oil leak.

">BP Bringing people togetherAnd a reworking of BP's 'Bringing people together' advert.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Pet Shop Boys + New Order = Delphic?

Dr Who - The Pandorica opens

Just got home so Dr Who will have to wait until tomorrow.

A plot to transform the USA

What worked for Labour in Britain is, it is being claimed, is being tried by Barack Obama's Democrats in the USA:
'Democrat Party strategists, politicians, labor leaders, and a host of left-wing “social justice” organizations all across the country are engaged in a strategy to drastically transform America’s population through mass immigration in order to guarantee their own and their allies’ dominance in U.S. government, society, and culture. The plot itself is simple: reshape the American electorate through mass immigration to reduce the political clout of the native white middle class.'
Do read the whole article...

BP Gulf oil leak - the 'real truth'

Above top secret:
'It seems that oil from deep eart, coming up through the BP spill, is RADIOACTIVE too !! This is just another bad feeling on top of all the other bad feelings this spill is conjuring up. So not only do we have the process of Sulphuric Acid (when O2 and water combine with sodium hydrate), methane pools, massive plumes of sludge and oil, physical changes in the floor of the Gulf, a destroyed and lost well casing, leaks coming out of the seabed, and the potential of a methane cloud in apocolyptic proportions seeping out too. I'm just not liking this whole drilling thing. And to add to it, BP was told a year ago not to drill because of the highly dangerous result probabilities. So, they did it anyway...'


David Icke says:
'...Death from the depths

With the emerging evidence of fissures, the quiet fear now is the methane bubble rupturing the seabed and exploding into the Gulf waters. If the bubble escapes, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will instantaneously sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists measuring the oil plumes' advance will instantly perish...'


Various including
'the fake BP account that posts updates like: "Sending our lawyers down to the Earth's crust to deliver a Cease and Desist. That oughta do it.'

and BP has murdered SpongeBob SquarePants...


Free Thinkers report much that is of interest...:
'recently I flew over the staging areas where the reports allege that BP has been engaged in these secretive operations. What I saw from the air over Shell Beach and Hopedale, Louisiana was what seemed to be military protected staging areas where whales can be brought in from offshore, processed under huge white tents, then carted off in trash trucks owned by a collaborative of oil companies, including BP.'


Hinterland voice believes that:
'Right now the Earth’s crust is collapsing under the wreckage of the oil rig. A cavern the size of Mt. Everest has reportedly formed (which could result in a killer tsunami in the Gulf region). I’m afraid something of this nature–even a 25-foot-wave could take out the oil refineries in Galveston.

The “dome” is a failure. The oil flow is too high. Only nukes can seal the leak and, as I just said, a collapse into the huge cavern could generate a massive wave. Nukes should have been used in the first 24 hours. The surface oil slick is only 10% of the oil volume, maybe less. And the U.S. Government has 16-miles of oil booms when it needs 2200-miles. (How may miles do the oil company scofflaws have? Very few, I’ll wager thanks to GW Bush.)

When an oil tanker leaks, the oil is relatively cool and floats on the water. This oil is superheated by magma rifts to as much as 400-degrees centigrade where it hits water of 15-degrees centigrade (or less). The oil is 30,000-feet down and 5000-feet under the Gulf. It was not created by biological decomposition. (I won’t get into my personal belief here that Earth is artificial and that God put the oil down there so Earth could function as an oil-filled capacitor–mighty convenient accident!) Much of this oil is DISSOLVING into the sea water, forming a toxic blend (probably because some of the hot oil is producing glycerols, which act as surfactants).

The toxic sea water WILL circulate around the entire planet within 12-18 months. It will produce oxygen starvation in the water (due to bacterial decomposition of the oil), massive red tides and death of marine life and mammals. Any regions dependent of marine proteins for survival will definitely be facing starvation. Tom Mysiewicz'


The Gulf Restoration Network has some more scientific worries:
'NOAA is confirming that part of the oil slick has entered the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico. The Loop Current transports warm Caribbean water between the Yucatan and Cuba northward into the Gulf of Mexico, and then loops to the southeast towards the Florida Keys (eventually meeting up with the Gulf Stream). It's also one of the fastest moving currents in the Atlantic Ocean.'


Rich fish, 'kerching'