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Monday, 31 January 2011

The apartheid state of Israel

Israelly Cool reports another vile case of apartheid in the Jewish state of Israel:
'In Israel, it can be easy to choose a side. In the volatile country strained by the tension between Arabs and Jews, some choose to hate.

But Duke tennis standout Nadine Fahoum is an Israeli that does not hate. As an Arab growing up in Haifa, Fahoum was exposed to the political discord and periodic violence inherent to the conflict. Thanks to Nadine’s parents, however, she was given the opportunity to understand the other side.

“We don’t think about coexistence, we just live it,” Fahoum said. “It’s not something that my family has to think too much about. We just do it. It’s normal, that’s how it should be.”

Nadine’s mother, Wafa Zoabi Fahoum, a lawyer by trade, was formerly the head of Beit Hagefen, a non-profit organization in Haifa that works toward improving relations between Arabs and Jews. She and her husband, Anan, made the unusual decision to send their daughter to the Reali Hebrew School, rather than choosing a school predominantly composed of Arab students. When Nadine enrolled, she was the only Arab student there.

Consequently, from a young age Nadine was completely surrounded by Jewish people. And even though her family had many Arab friends, most of Nadine’s friends were Jewish kids.
“I never noticed it,” Nadine said. “When I was with Jewish people, I felt welcome…. All the time I heard both sides. I heard the Jewish side, and I heard the Arab side. And I’m somewhere in the middle trying to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. When you hear everything, it’s easier for you to see the whole picture.”

At the age of nine, Nadine began playing tennis at the Haifa Tennis Center where she was, once again, the only Arab. She was also the most talented athlete. Under the tutelage of her first coach Eli Tzarfati, Nadine won her first national championship at the age of 11, competing almost entirely against Jewish opponents.'
What is wrong with Israel that an Arab girl can do so well and represent her country from 2003 to 2008? Israel the apartheid state; I think not.

In just the right place?

I hear that some of the protesters who invaded Boots today were sprayed with teargas; well they were in the right place to buy eye-wash...

Into space 50 years ago today



50 years ago today Ham the chimpanzee was the first  animal to be launched into outer space by the Americans.

You can see some more excellently evocative photos at Life Magazine and of course Wikipedia has a good article.

Was NUS President Aaron Porter the victim of anti-Semitic abuse?

I blogged the accusations that he had been and read in many places the leftist denials that he had. So I was interested to read at Harry's Place that Aaron Porter himself says that he was in a piece in The Times:
'However, before I was able to speak to the rally of thousands, a small group of people started to chant abuse to try to intimidate me, and there were audible anti-Semitic comments. Racism is something that student activists have been fighting to eliminate for decades and this was a sobering reminder that there is still work to do.
I wouldn’t associate the racist comments with everyone in this breakaway group, who are largely drawn from hard Left factions and who disagree with the tactics and some of the policies of the NUS. For them it is not enough for the NUS to mobilise 50,000 students and lecturers to protest against the rise in tuition fees; instead they say we should be standing alongside those who kick in windows and burn effigies of Nick Clegg.
Those tactics are wrong and do not work. I represent the vast majority of students who believe that peaceful protest should be one part of a campaign.'
I await the leftists' apologies; albeit probably in vain.


The protests in Egypt are not anti-Israel

The BBC and other news outlets are keen to present the uprising in Egypt as being one in favour of democracy and not being at all concerned with Israel; oh really...


Go to 1:30 and listen to 2:50 and hear what at least some of the people on the streets of Cairo want:
"All the people hate him.  He’s supporting Israel!  Israel is our enemy. We don’t like him…Israel and America supported him.  We hate them all!" and then we are told that the removal of Mubarek means that the people in Egypt will be able to "destroy Israel."


Meanwhile Israelly Cool  reports that:
'Mohamed Ghanem, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, calls Egypt to stop pumping gas to Israel and prepare the Egyptian army for a war with it’s eastern neighbor.

Speaking with Iranian television station Al-Alam, Mohamed Ghanem blamed Israel for supporting Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Ghanem also said that the Egyptian police and army won’t be able to stop the Muslim Brotherhood movement.'

I have a very bad feeling about all of this but the BBC will not report such words as it goes against their 'narrative'.

The BBC reporting on Egypt

I have blogged recently how the BBC  kept any negativity about Egypt hidden from the British public for years:
'The BBC's reporting on the unrest in Egypt has brought something interesting to light. Part of the the way through the unrest the BBC decided that they should explain why the unrest was happening and suddenly the BBC were reporting that Egypt was ruled by a despot who headed an unpopular authoritarian regime. What is odd is how the BBC seemed to keep this sort of information very quiet over the years, preferring to point out the horrors that were happening next door in Israel.

It is odd how the BBC can implicitly support a regime by broadcasting next to nothing about its failings only to switch when a revolt starts. However the explanation is clear: the BBC will support, pretty uncritically, any country, organisation or movement that opposes Israel right up until that country, organisation or movement looks like it might be about to be replaced by one likely to be even more opposed to Israel. The BBC's anti-Israel obsession is pernicious and clouds its world view to such an extent that all of its foreign news coverage is suspect.'
So I was pleased to see the following comment on Biased-BBC that I think explores this subject even further:

'David Preiser (USA)
Here's what the BBC had to say about the political situation in Egypt only five years ago:
 

'There is little doubt that Mr Mubarak probably does enjoy huge support in the Egyptian street. '

So what changed, BBC?  We aren't told.  Instead, the Beeboids act as if the Egyptians were always against being ruled by Mubarak.  Then there's this:
 

'But the results of the 2005 election were skewed by the banning of what is assumed to be the main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and almost insurmountable obstacles for independent candidates.  
 
Successes by Muslim Brotherhood-supporting independent candidates in the parliamentary elections two months later were followed by a crackdown on opposition activists.  
 
In what was see by analysts as sign of alarm bells ringing in the NDP leadership, municipal elections were also postponed.

So the Muslim Brotherhood might just win a "free and fair" election, and there are no other viable choices in sight, other than Iran's proxy, El-Baradei.  Again, not a word from a single Beeboid about the real potential of the MB. Instead, the BBC is informing you, across the spectrum of broadcasting, that they're not radical, not so bad, it's only scare-mongering from Mubarak to keep himself in power.

The best they've done is ask the occasional government figure (Hague or someone from the US, typically) if they're worried about the MB taking over.  The problem is that, having blatantly misrepresented the MB, this question is way out of its proper context and ends up sounding like fear-mongering.

When Frank Gardner and several other people on the BBC say that the Muslim Brotherhood is "not that radical", then Hague says that nobody wants "extremists" to take over in Egypt, it makes Hague and everyone else sound like they're being Islamophobes and continuing to support the dictator with their talk of orderly proceedings.  It's time to say that the BBC is lying about the Muslim Brotherhood.'

A good analysis of the situation and one that the BBC should own up to.

Can you see through women's clothes?



But is that picture all that it seems?


MOIllusions has the full story.

Jimmy Carter = Barack Obama. Barack Obama = Jimmy Carter

Not an original thought I know but this Dry Bones cartoon summarises it well:




Thanks to Theo Spark for the spot.

Why do 'vegetarians' like bacon?

NPR explains all:
'Recently, an old friend who's been a vegetarian for more than 15 years shocked us with a story: Last weekend, she ate bacon. Several strips. Straight out of the frying pan where her boyfriend was cooking it.

This wasn't the first time she'd encountered it sizzling there, in all its glistening glory. But for some reason, this time it overpowered her. She was guilty yet gleeful when she told us that she'd allowed bacon back into her life.

But she's not alone. We've heard this story before from many people. It seems that bacon has a way of awakening carnivorous desires within even some of the preachiest of vegetarians. And we set out to find out why.'

Anti-Semitic E-Mail of the Day

Debbie Schlussel has had a rather nasty anti-Semitic email and wants to share it; have a read and realise that anti-Semitism is alive and well in the 21st century.

Is Vincent Cable fit to be in charge of anything?

‘There are two dead bodies on a motorway. One cat and one banker...

There was very little difference between the corpses... except for ‘skid marks around the cat’ – a suggestion that a driver would have tried to avoid the cat but not the banker.'
The Mail has more on Vince Vable's latest gaffe; how long can David Cameron protect this odious man?

The one hundred and sixteenth weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's award goes to the less and less impressive by the day Foreign Secretary, William Hague for his inciteful comment as reported by Sky News that 'A broad-based government is "preferable to Egypt falling into the hands of extremism or a more authoritarian system of government,"'

"No shit, Sherlock" 

John Barry RIP

The film composer John Barry has died and everyone is posting James Bond themes, so here first of all is the theme from the great film Midnight Cowboy

John Voigt and Dustin Hoffman acting their socks off...

Here's the theme from Born Free, afilm that never fails to raise a tear from Mrd NotaSheep


Here's the theme tune from Zulu, a great film full of strong performances


Here's the theme from The Persuaders


And OK here's the dean of film music conducting an orchestra playing Goldfinger and the James Bond Theme


How many people can hear that middle eight of the James Bond Theme and not know its from a James Bond film?


A true musical great has departed this world, will we see his like again?

The future for Egypt in and after 2011; will it be similar to Iran after 1979

The Shah of Iran ran what was decribed as a bloody dictatorship. There was a popular uprising that turned into a revolution and his regime was replaced by a regime of Islamic fundamentalism has been a source of trouble and terrorism ever since.

President Mubarek has run what is now being called a dictatorship. A popular uprising is underway, there very well might be a “revolution” leading to the installation of Mohamed Elbaradei as President. Behind the scenes the most powerful opposition party, The Muslim Brotherhood, is looking for how to take power; the Muslim Brotherhood are Islamic fundamentalists.

History repeating itself?

But Egypt is a land of long history and of moderate Islam we are told. Reallya a recent Pew poll found that significant numbers (and sometimes majorities) of Egyptian Muslims don't sound very moderate to me:
'In Egypt, 30 percent like Hizballah (66 percent don’t). 49 percent are favorable toward Hamas (48 percent are negative); and 20 percent smile (72 percent frown) at al-Qaida. Roughly speaking, one-fifth of Egyptians applaud the most extreme Islamist terrorist group, while around one-third back revolutionary Islamists abroad. This doesn’t tell us what proportion of Egyptians want an Islamist government at home, but it is an indicator.

In Egypt, 82 percent want stoning for those who commit adultery; 77 percent would like to see whippings and hands cut off for robbery; and 84 percent favor the death penalty for any Muslim who changes his religion.

Asked if they supported “modernizers” or “Islamists” only 27 percent of Egyptians said they favored the modernizers while 59 percent said they backed the Islamists.'
So is it more likely that Egypt will become a seclular democracy or an Islamic theocracy?

Here's a photo of Mohamed Elbaradei and Mohammed Ahmadinejad, could this be an image that we will see again and again over the coming years, symbolising the new coseness of Egypt & Iran?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Finally some good news for enviromentalists

The Mail has some news that should have enviromentalists evrywhere leaping for joy. It seems that:
'Artificial petrol that costs 19p per litre could be on forecourts in as little as three years.

British scientists are refining the recipe for a hydrogen-based fuel that will run in existing cars and engines at the fraction of the cost of conventional petrol.

With hydrogen at its heart rather than carbon, it will not produce any harmful emissions when burnt, making it better for the environment, as well as easier on the wallet.

The first road tests are due next year and, if all goes well, the cut-price ‘petrol’ could be on sale in three to five years.

Professor Stephen Bennington, the project’s lead scientist, said: ‘In some senses, hydrogen is the perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns, it produces nothing but water.

‘Our new hydrogen storage materials offer real potential for running cars, planes and other vehicles that currently use hydrocarbons.’

The fuel is expected to cost around $1.50 a gallon, or 19p a litre. Even with fuel taxes, the forecourt price is likely to be around 60p a litre – less than half the current cost.

That would bring the price of filling a 70-litre Ford Mondeo down to around £42.'
If this story has more than a smigeon of truth then why aren't enviromentalists hailing the good news on, the 'all important' CO2 emissions? It is almost as though enviromentalists hate motoring more than they love the planet. Of course the flaw in the cheap fuel story is that once this fuel became widely available the governmnet would find a way of taxing it as heavily as oil; they will find a reason, they always do.

Is Amazon.com's security compromised?

Wired believe that to be so:
'An Amazon.com security flaw allows some customers to log in with variations of their actual password that are close to, but not exactly, their real password.

The flaw lets Amazon accept as valid some passwords that have extra characters added on after the 8th character, and also makes the password case-insensitive.

For example, if your password is “Password,” Amazon.com will also let you log in with “PASSWORD,” “password,” “passwordpassword,” and “password12345.”

Wired has been able to confirm the flaw, which was first reported on Reddit. It appears to affect only older Amazon.com accounts, which have not had their passwords changed in the past several years.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.'

The authentic voice of the anti-Semitism that is rife on the left of British politics

For years the left in British politics have united against racism, fought against Islamaphobia and deplored anti-Semitism; all the while blaming the right for these offensive views. For years many of us have known that this was complete and utter b***ocks with respect to anti-Semitism. Harry's Place has documented the British left's links with anti-Semitism, both as a by-product of their chosen alliances with foul Islamic groups and also as hangovers from history. Other websites have done a similar job and I hope that I have been one of them.

Yesterday the mask slipped as Aaron Porter the Jewish President of the National Union of Students had to be rescued by the police from angry protesters chanting anti-Jewish abuse and demanding his resignation. The Mail records that:
'Aaron Porter was surrounded by a 150-strong mob who broke away from a student fees protest in Manchester. As 12 officers led him to safety, there were chants of ‘Aaron Porter we know you, you’re a f******* Tory too’. A photographer said he also heard cries of ‘Tory Jew scum’.'
Despicable words and ones that the BBC have not reported. The BBC's report just includes this rather anodyne remark quite a way down the report:
'There have also been divisions within the protest groups - and NUS president Aaron Porter was challenged by demonstrators wanting a more militant leadership.'
'Challenged'?

Imagine that rather than the Jewish Aaron Porter, the President of the NUS was a Muslim called Ahmed Pirzada. Imagine that he had been verbally abused with chants of ‘Ahmed Pirzada we know you, you’re a f******* Tory too and ‘Tory Muslim scum’; do you think the BBC would be downplaying the story then, or would it be headline news? Actually in that instance the BBC would be conflicted between reporting a juicy story of Islamaphobia and not wanting to diminish the moral authority of the NUS in particular and the left in general.



UPDATE:
Here's some video of the incident in Manchester including the cry "I want to hit you with my shoe" which some claim was used to rhyme with "Jew". I am not sure I can hear that. However Iran's Press TV are reporting that:
'Police escorted Porter to safety as he made his way to his offices in Manchester. Protesters shouted 'Students, workers, hear our shout! We want Aaron Porter out!'.

Chants of 'Tory Jew scum' were also directed at Porter, who is facing calls to step down as NUS president by members of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, who claim he has 'lost the confidence of the movement...'

Porter himself has said that he was subjected to racist abuse:
Mr Porter told NUS members in an e-mail: “Just before the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues. Instead of standing together and fighting the cuts, they instead chose to pursue me along Manchester’s Oxford Road and drive me away from the start of the march. As a result, under the strong advice of the police, I had to withdraw myself from the rally.”

Michael Scott from the US's The Office meets David Brent from the original UK The Office

John Prescott faces new probe

The Express reveals that:
'JOHN PRESCOTT is facing a fresh police probe into allegations he broke the law by having sex with his secretary while he was in Government, the Scottish Sunday Express can reveal.'
Read the story, I hope its true because the damage done by John Prescott to the country and the English language has not yet been fully recognised.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

How do the BBC decide when to start telling their viewers, listeners & readers the truth?

The BBC's reporting on the unrest in Egypt has brought something interesting to light. Part of the the way through the unrest the BBC decided that they should explain why the unrest was happening and suddenly the BBC were reporting that Egypt was ruled by a despot who headed an unpopular authoritarian regime. What is odd is how the BBC seemed to keep this sort of information very quiet over the years, preferring to point out the horrors that were happening next door in Israel.

It is odd how the BBC can implicitly support a regime by broadcasting next to nothing about its failings only to switch when a revolt starts. However the explanation is clear: the BBC will support, pretty uncritically, any country, organisation or movement that opposes Israel right up until that country, organisation or movement looks like it might be about to be replaced by one likely to be even more opposed to Israel. The BBC's anti-Israel obsession is pernicious and clouds its world view to such an extent that all of its foreign news coverage is suspect.

Friday, 28 January 2011

The most over the top use of CGI in an action movie

Not from an Arnie film, not from a Stallone film, not even from a Jason Statham film but from a Tamil language film called Endhiran (Robot). Quite incredible, some obvious influences but above all - wow!

The perfect musical parody


The original Two Little Girls From Little Rock - Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell


The wonderful French & Saunders parody

Are the insurrections in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond being organised?

The hand of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt seems likely but A Tangled Web sees more:
'Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan. Egypt are all in varying states of organized rebellion.

It is organized rebellion not a spontaneous cry for freedom of oppression that some are trying to sell the rest of the world. It is organized and the timing is being directed from Persia. The Mad Mullahs now have complete control of three states Iran, Syria, and as of this week Lebanon.

As the Hizbooha took complete control of Lebanon, The Muzi Brotherhood and Mohamed ElBaradei’s party lit Egypt on fire. It’s so reassuring that the man that for a decade told us that the Persians were not building a bomb has undeniably revealed himself as being in complicit harmony with them.

Egypt has shut down all internal communication networks and arrested as many of the Muzi Brotherhood leaders it can find. Depending on how harsh Mubarak’s reaction is will determine whether or not Egypt stands as an independent, or becomes the fourth vassal Persian State.'
It is possible that this theory holds water and if it does the future for peace and stability in the Middle East looks shakier than ever. The one place you will definitely not get any analysis of this story is of course on the BBC.

Possibly the only time in history that a wireless carrier’s SMS message has been useful

Wired.Com report on an unforseen benefit of mobile phone carrier's messages:
'An unexpected and unwanted text message from a wireless company prematurely exploded a would-be suicide bomber’s vest bomb in Russia New Year’s Eve, inadvertently thwarting a planned attack on revelers in Moscow, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The would-be suicide bomber was planning to detonate a suicide belt bomb near Red Square, a plan that was foiled when her wireless carrier sent her an SMS while she was still at a safe house, setting off the bomb and killing her. The message reportedly wished her a Happy New Years, according to the report, which sourced the info from security forces in Russia. Cell phones are often used as makeshift detonators by terrorist and insurgent groups.

If true, the SMS might be the only time that a wireless carrier’s SMS message has ever been useful.

The authorities suspect the female bomber was part of the same Jihadist group that is suspected of hitting Moscow’s airport on Monday with a suicide bomb attack that killed 35.'
Why do I get the feeling that carrier's will be told to start sending more of these messages as a precautionary tactic?

Another animal lover...

The Independent relate the story that
'A man was spotted carrying out an indecent attack on a lamb which was later found dead, police said today.

The alleged assault took place in a field near Silverknowes Road in Edinburgh on Sunday morning.

The man is reported to be in his 20s, although police have not issued any description of the suspect.

Officers hunting for the culprit said investigations were also taking place to find out whether the farm animal's death was linked to the incident.

A police spokesman urged anyone with information to contact them immediately.

He said: "Lothian and Borders Police are investigating after a male was seen performing an indecent act on a lamb.

"The suspect fled the scene after being disturbed, at which time the lamb was found to be dead.

"Inquiries are now under way to determine whether the animal's death is linked to the incident." '
Well it can't have helped, can it? Why pick on a poor defenceless lamb anyway?

When will the United Nations censure Burma

I read that:
'Prison inmates sent to frontline fighting between the Burmese army and a rebel faction have been used by the regime's military as human mine sweepers.

Some of the 600 prisoners shipped off to the front near the border with Thailand suffered serious injuries as they were forced to walk ahead of troops across mine fields in what one rights group said amounted to a "crime against humanity".'
Will the United Nations find time amidst their busy schedule, of censuring Israel for doing almost anything, to censure Burma for this flagrant attack on Human Rights? I think we all know the answer to that question...

The BBC and the Muslim Brotherhood

The BBC list for us the opposition movments in egypt; here's what they have to say about the Muslim Brotherhood:
'Despite an official ban, the Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's largest and most organised opposition movement. The interior ministry blamed the organisation for rioting that took place on Tuesday, saying that a number of protesters "particularly a large number of those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood… began to riot, damage public property and throw stones at police forces".

However, their numbers in the protests is unclear. The conservative leadership decided not to fully endorse the demonstrations to the anger of some younger supporters. A senior spokesman, Essam el-Erian, said he did expect large numbers of the organisation's members to participate of their own accord, and called on them to stick to peaceful methods. Leaflets outlining its political demands were distributed at the rally.

Until last year, Muslim Brotherhood members (running as independent candidates) held one-fifth of seats in the last parliament. But it lost its representatives in the 2010 parliamentary election. After a first round of voting was marred by serious fraud and violence, it decided to boycott the second round.

In the past, the group has proven able to draw large crowds out onto the streets but has mostly avoided directly challenging the government. It has organised large protests against Israel's war in Gaza and the US-led war in Iraq, for example.'

Oddly the BBC don't find room to tell us the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."

For a slightly less starry-eyed view of The muslim Brotherhood, take a read of this rrom the Middle East Forum.

Typical Guardian error

The Guardian seem to be missing the point with their piece entitled 'Can the man on the street explain the offside rule?'. Richard Keys and Andy Gray's 'crime' was not that they said women don't understand the offside rule whilst men do, but that this particular lady linesman couldn't understand the offside rule. In fact the offside rule is quite tricky to explain, although easier to understand, especially since the change in te law re 'active' and 'passive' players.

Whether the man in the street understands the offside rule is unimportant, what is important is whether professional match officials understand the rule.

EU funding and the politicization of science especially regarding Man made Climate Change

There are still some people who think that 'big oil'and 'large American business interests' fund 'denier' scientists whilst the scientist proponents of man made climate change are underfunded fighters for the truth.

As with many of the accepted narratives of the left, this is almsot 180 degrees away from the truth. In fact the proponents of man made global warming receive far more funding from business, government, NGOs and especially tans-national bodies than the seekers after the truth on global warming can ever dream of.

For a detailed analysis of this area, may I commend this paper from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This report goes into great detail about the EU's funding of man made climate change 'research' and includes explanations of funding stream such as 'dgxii' which is from the Commission’s Directorate General for Research, 'dgxi' which was the acronym for the Directorate General for the Environment, 'dg' which is essentially a funding organization that controls a massive multi-year budget for research support known as the 'Framework Programme — or 'fp' for short. The acronyms go on and on and then come some quite staggering figures:
'The Research Directorate’s Framework Programme 6 — or “fp6” — ran from 2002 through 2006 and comprised a budget of some € 17.5 billion. The current Framework Programme 7 began in 2007 and will run through 2013 It comprises a research support budget of some €50.5 billion.'

Do read the whole article, print some copies out and have one to hand ready for the next time an eco-loon tells you that 'climate change deniers' receive large amounts of funding from big business' and that the environmental movement is the unfunded seeker after after truth.

Any independent verification required?

The BBC report that
'An 18-year-old shepherd has died after being shot by Israeli settlers near the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian officials say.

Witnesses say the man was attacked by four Jewish settlers. Israeli officials say they are looking into the incident. '
Oddly unlike here, the BBC seem not to worry that 'The BBC has been unable to verify... independently.'

Do the BBC only need to verify documents or reports that show Palestinians unfavourably? Is that unbiased?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A melting glacier story that seems to have been missed by the BBC

The Telegraph report that:
'Himalayan glaciers are actually advancing rather than retreating, claims the first major study since a controversial UN report said they would be melted within quarter of a century.

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.

The discovery adds a new twist to the row over whether global warming is causing the world’s highest mountain range to lose its ice cover.

It further challenges claims made in a 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the glaciers would be gone by 2035.'
For some strange reason I can find no mention of this news on the BBC's Science & Environment news page; I wonder why, they were so keen on reporting the original news story...

Man Made Climate Change - a discrepancy in presentation of the facts

Whilst it is reported that 'NASA Targets Children with ‘Climate Kids’ Website', a website that states as fact that 'The planet is warming up fast--faster than at any time scientists know about from their studies of Earth's entire history.' - something that is demostrably untrue - but also that 'Scientists have discovered that humans are causing this warming', really? Is this proven? ClimateQuotes has some more analysis of the NASA site and some facscinating comments that deserve wide readership.

Meanwhile Climate Realists report verbatim from a report by Dr. Don Easterbrook from SPPI that:
'Temperature changes recorded in the GISP2 ice core from the Greenland Ice Sheet show that the global warming experienced during the past century pales into insignificance when compared to the magnitude of profound climate reversals over the past 25,000 years.

SIGNIFICANCE OF PREVIOUS GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGES

If CO2 is indeed the cause of global warming, then global temperatures should mirror the rise in CO2. For the past 1000 years, atmospheric CO2 levels remained fairly constant at about 280 ppm (parts per million). Atmospheric CO2 concentrations began to rise during the industrial revolution early in the 20th century but did not exceed about 300 ppm. The climatic warming that occurred between about 1915 and 1945 was not accompanied by significant rise in CO2. In 1945, CO2 emission began to rise sharply and by 1980 atmospheric CO2 had risen to just under 340 ppm. During this time, however, global temperatures fell about 0.9°F (0.5° C) in the Northern Hemisphere and about 0.4°F (0.2° C) globally. Global temperatures suddenly reversed during the Great Climate Shift of 1977 when the Pacific Ocean switched from its cool mode to its warm mode with no change in the rate of CO2 increase. The 1977–1998 warm cycle ended in 1999 and a new cool cycle began. If CO2 is the cause of global warming, why did temperatures rise for 30 years (1915-1945) with no significant increase in CO2? Why did temperatures fall for 30 years (1945-1977) while CO2 was sharply accelerating? Logic dictates that this anomalous cooling cycle during accelerating CO2 levels must mean either (1) rising CO2 is not the cause of global warming or (2) some process other than rising CO2 is capable of strongly overriding its effect on global atmospheric warming.'

I look forward to NASA's apology for producing such misleading information, but I fear I will wait in vain.

Have the police and the CPS nothing better to do?

Unless there is more to this story in The Mail than meets the eye then:
'A disabled caravanner who kept a penknife in his glove compartment to use on picnics has blasted the authorities after being dragged through court for possessing an offensive weapon.

Rodney Knowles, 61, walks with the aid of a stick and had used the Swiss Army knife to cut up fruit on picnics with his wife.

Knowles yesterday admitted possessing an offensive weapon at Torquay Magistrates Court. He was given a conditional discharge.

But speaking after the hearing, he said: 'It's a stupid law. Now I have a criminal record.''
Quite ridiculous. I carry a penknife in my work case, have done for years, I also carry several screwdrivers and occasionally more tools. Am I guilty of carrying offensive weapons? If so then so are dozens of men that I know.

Ed Miliband made a schoolboy error - Official

'Ed Miliband made a schoolboy error in stating that the cuts had choked off growth when they haven’t even started in earnest yet.
In fact, it’s difficult to pin it on the current administration because the shrinking economy may well be a hangover from the previous government’s stimulus package.
Mr Miliband would have been on firmer ground if he’d argued that the GDP figures show the economy may be too weak to withstand the impending cuts. We’ll know if the cuts are too much, too fast in a few months’ time.'
Channel 4's Fact Checker  has done some checking of Ed Milibnad's claims at yesterday's PMQs and lo and behold 'Ed Miliband made a schoolboy error'; is anyone surprised that Ed 'Son of Brown' Miliband advised by Ed 'second Choice' Balls would make a 'schoolboy error'?

Is this Andy Murray's best chance to win a Grand Slam, so far

'Poor Andy Murray, being ranked third in the world he has to beat Nadal and Federer in order to win a Grand Slam tournament'; so goes one argument as to why Andy Murray is finding it so hard to win a Tennis Grand Slam. Well David Ferrer beat Rafael Nadal in one Australian Open's Quarter Final setting up a semi-final with Andy Murray and now Novak Djokovic has beaten defending champion Roger Federer in the first semi-final. So can Andy Murray win a Grand Slam when he doesn't have to face either Nadal or Federer? Or is this like Tim Henman who we were told couldn't win Wimbledon because of Pete Sampras and then when Sampras lost early (oddly to a 19 year old Roger Federer), Tim Henman lost to Goran Ivanišević in the semi-finals.

Is Andy Murray a choker, or is this his time?

How a bail-out works

'The rain beats down on a small Irish town. The streets are deserted. Times are tough. Everyone is in debt and living on credit. A rich German arrives at the local hotel, asks to view its rooms, and puts on the desk a €100 note. The owner gives him a bunch of keys and he goes off for an inspection.

As soon as he has gone upstairs, the hotelier grabs the note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher hurries down the street to pay what he owes to his feed merchant. The merchant heads for the pub and uses the note to pay his bar bill. The publican slips the note to the local hooker who’s been offering her services on credit. She rushes to the hotel to pay what she owes for room hire. As she puts the €100 note on the counter, the German appears, says the rooms are unsuitable, picks up his €100 note and leaves town.

No one did any work. No one earned anything. Everyone is out of debt. Everyone is feeling better. And that is how a bail-out works.'

From the Financial Times via Memex.

The return of the Sovereign Debt Crisis to the media's attention

The Sovereign Debt Crisis has been sitting in the background ready to bite back but most of the worlds media has ignored it. Today's news that credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded Japan's credit rating from AA to AA-, citing Japan's worsening debt situation for the demotion, is being reported but not highlighted. Standard & Poor's move has been taken because they expect Japan's debt, which already stands at almost twice the country's annual economic output, to continue rising for about 15 years, because S&P believe that Japan's government "lacked a coherent strategy" for tackling the debt problem and because "Japan's government debt ratios - already among the highest for rated sovereigns - will continue to rise further than we envisaged and will peak in the mid 2020s".

The BBC have reported this story but are not giving the prominence that it is due. I believe that this is for two reasons; first that they are concentrating as much as possible on attacking the News of the World, and by extension Rupert Murdoch, as much as possible as a way of trying to get the takeover of BSkyB refused or at least delayed, second the BBC don't want news that a country has had its credit rating downgraded because its government "lacked a coherent strategy" for tackling debt to become more widely understood - after all their Labour allies have a deficit denier as Shadow Chancellor now.

An argument for Grammar Schools

"People from my sort of background needed Grammar schools to compete with children from privileged homes like Shirley Williams and Anthony Wedgwood Benn."
Margaret Thatcher in 1977 making a very good point in favour of grammar schools; they enabled many clever children from poor families to increase their upward mobility and improve their 'life chances'. The educational establishment justified their doctrinaire move to comprehensive education by saying that helping just some children was unfair. Of course now far fewer children are helped by attending grammar schools but at least it is 'fairer'.

Reading this piece, I have realised that to the supporters of the comprehensive school establishment, the fact that Lady Thatcher was a product of a grammar school is a powerful argument against them.

Cybermen can swim?

I never considered whether a Cyberman could swim but I suppose if Daleks can now fly, then why not.

A competitor wearing a Doctor Who Cybermen cap competes in the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships at the Tooting Bec lido in London.
Photo: Kieran Doherty / Reuters


Thanks to Boing Boing  for the spot.

Do you think that Bariness Ashton should show more or less cleavage?

Personally I am not bothered that much by Baroness Ashton's cleavage. I have more fundamental issues with the EU's, never elected to any position, High Representative for Foreign Affairs. However it seems that the Iranians thought she had sported too revealing a top during a recent visit. The BBC have the full story and the pictures... Beware in Iran the 'uncensored' picture maybe NSFW.

Cat tech support


A very similar technique to the one that I use with crappy ink-jet printers!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Complaining to the BBC about anti-Israel bias

I have taken up my long-running complaint with the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit, ecu@bbc.co.uk, here is what I have said. I wonder if I will get a response, how long it will take them and whether they will actually address my substantive points?



from: notasheepmaybeagoat@googlemail.com
to: ecu@bbc.co.uk
date: 26 January 2011 17:25
subject: A complaint about BBC Radio Bias

I have a complaint about blatant BBC bias that I have not been able to get properly addressed by either the individual who answered the original complaint or their, I presume, boss - Tarik Kafala.

I lay out below my signature the chain of emails; if you require any further information, do please ask.

However in summary - The BBC reported in August 2010 the despicable comments made by an extremist Israeli rabbi but when I asked why the BBC did not report the genocidal comments regularly made by Hamas and Fatah leaders (both secular and clerical), and I gave examples, I was told that 'We do not report every inflammatory comment by Israelis or Palestinians. There are many on both sides.'

When
I pointed out that this was not a satisfactory response and explained why, I was told by Tarik Kafal (Middle East Editor, BBC News Website) in an email of 21 December that 'To report the shrill and extreme statements of some of the Hamas firebrands is therefore misleading.' Yet the BBC were happy to report the extreme statements of one firebrand Israeli Rabbi.  This leads to my key question and main complaint:
Why is it 'misleading' to report the words of 'Hamas firebrands' but not those of an Israeli firebrand? 

To put some more flesh on that:
Do the BBC consider that Rabbi Ovaida's statements are isolated sentiments or representative of those of much of Israel? Does the BBC apply different standards to the speeches of Israeli and Palestinian 'firebrands'?


I look forward to your considered but also prompt response in this matter.

Kind regards

NotaSheep



Here is the chain of emails:

1) 30 August - Original complaint:
'Your news bulletins featured a piece about an Israeli rabbi who had called for a 'plague' on Mahmoud Abbas. A despicable comment I agree but maybe you could point me to the 5Live news bulletins that reported the genocidal statements of senior Hamas and Fatah politicians and/or religious leaders. For example did 5Live report Hamas cleric Ziyad Abu al-Haj's Friday sermon of 3 April 2009 in which he said "The time will come, by Allah’s will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth."? Did 5Live report the words of Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halabiah, a member of the Palestinian Sharia (Islamic religious law) Rulings Council, and Rector of Advanced Studies at the Islamic University on 13 October 2000 when he said "The Jews are the Jews. There never was among them a supporter of peace. They are all liars… They are terrorists. Therefore it is necessary to slaughter them and murder them, according to the words of Allah… It is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land. Make war on them any place that you find yourself. Any place that you meet them – kill them. Kill the Jews and those among the Americans who are like them… The Jews only understand might. Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere."

If you did not report such Palestinian calls, why not? Why are the words of one Israeli cleric, however vile, newsworthy whereas those of Palestinian clerics and politicians are not?'



2) 26 October - Original BBC reply:
'Dear Sir or Madam,

We do not report every inflammatory comment by Israelis or Palestinians. There are many on both sides.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments were reported because he is such an important figure, and because the comment came at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were being resumed. He is the spiritual leader of Shas, a party represented in current Israeli government, and a former Chief Rabbi.
The comments were widely criticised by US and Israeli leaders.
I am sorry for the delay ion replying to your complaint.

Best regards,
Middle East desk
BBC News website'


3) 28 October - My response:
'Thank you for finally replying to my complaint, although I note that you have not actually answered my complaint.


You write that 'We do not report every inflammatory comment by Israelis or Palestinians. There are many on both sides.' - My complaint acknowledged that the comments were 'reprehnsible' and 'despicable' and asked you to 'point me to the BBC web site news articles that reported the genocidal statements of senior Hamas and Fatah politicians and/or religious leaders.'  I don't ask that the BBC report every genocidal statement made by a Hamas politician or religious leader, where would you find the space? But to report none of these comments does look rather strange.





You write that 'Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments were reported because he is such an important figure, and because the comment came at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were being resumed.' - I cannot disagree with your point about the timing of his remarks. Maybe you could point me to the BBC's coverage of Yasser Arafat's comments on Jordanian TV on the very day that he signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn in 1993 "Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel."



You write that 'He is the spiritual leader of Shas, a party represented in current Israeli government, and a former Chief Rabbi.' - Indeed he was albeit the Sephardi Chief Rabbi and from 1973-1983; he is not a member of the Knesset. Maybe you could show me where the BBC reported the words of Hamas' spiritual leader, until 2004, Ahmed Yassin when he said that "Reconciliation with the Jews is a crime" and that Israel "must disappear from the map".



You write that 'The comments were widely criticised by US and Israeli leaders.' - Indeed they were and rightly so, but my complaint was not about the coverage of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments, but about the lack of coverage of equally or more reprehensible comments by Palestinian political and religious leaders. By not addressing this point you have not answered my complaint, preferring to answer a different question.



I must ask you to actually answer my question rather than a question of your choosing.


Regards

NotaSheep '


4) 13 November - My chasing email:
'Any chance of a reply to my last email or will it take the BBC a month to reply like last time?

Your last email did not answer my questions and I think I deserve proper answers to serious questions.

Regards

NotaSheep'




5) 16 November - First reply from Tariq Kafala

'Dear Notasheep,
Thank you for your further comments.
I tried to explain in my first email why we felt it editorial justified to report Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments because of his importance and their timing.
We have, of course, reported the actions, policies and statements of Hamas and other Palestinian leaders. We tend, where possible to conduct our own interviews with such figures. 
The answer to one of your specific questions, based on a search of the site, is no. We did not report the statement by Ahmed Yassin regarding reconciliation with Israel being a crime or that Israel. In our obituary of Yassin we say: It was there that he formed the belief that Palestine was an Islamic land "consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day", and that no Arab leader had the right to give up any part of this territory.
Our current profile of Hamas makes it absolutely clear that Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel, though its leaders often talk about a long tern truce following the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territory. This, I would argue, covers the substance of Yassin's comments and points to some range or nuance ion Hamas' position. 
The BBC News website was launched in 1997, so it's not possible for me to check whether we reported the Yasser Arafat comment that you refer to.
Best regards,
Tarik Kafala, Middle East editor, BBC News website'


6) 24 December - My response (07:41)

'Thank you for your reply and I apologise for not replying sooner but I managed to miss your email arriving.

I note that you have looked into the BBC's reporting of Ahmed Yassin's comments and assure me that you reported in his obituary that 'It was there that he formed the belief that Palestine was an Islamic land "consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day", and that no Arab leader had the right to give up any part of this territory.' I think that is rather milder than the statements that I asked if the BBC had ever reported. It seems that the BBC is eager to  report the wilder comments of a relatively minor Israeli Rabbi but connives in hiding the true feelings and objectives of many Hamas and Fatah religious and secular leaders. Look at what the BBC wrote in the obituary and ask yourself if that comes close to truly representing the words that I quoted? 

I ask again, did the BBC web news report Hamas cleric Ziyad Abu al-Haj's Friday sermon of 3 April 2009 in which he said "The time will come, by Allah’s will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth."?

Maybe you could also show me where BBC web news reported the words of Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halabiah, a member of the Palestinian Sharia (Islamic religious law) Rulings Council, and Rector of Advanced Studies at the Islamic University on 13 October 2000 when he said "The Jews are the Jews. There never was among them a supporter of peace. They are all liars… They are terrorists. Therefore it is necessary to slaughter them and murder them, according to the words of Allah… It is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land. Make war on them any place that you find yourself. Any place that you meet them – kill them. Kill the Jews and those among the Americans who are like them… The Jews only understand might. Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere."


You go on to say that 'Our current profile of Hamas makes it absolutely clear that Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel, though its leaders often talk about a long tern truce following the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territory. This, I would argue, covers the substance of Yassin's comments and points to some range or nuance ion Hamas' position.' I disagree. By choosing to report just one nuanced type of comments made by Hamas and Fatah leaders you are skewing public opinion, public opinion that should be allowed to see the full extent of Hamas avowed hatred for all Jews and declared murderous intent towards them. Maybe you could explain to me the nuance in the position that "The time will come, by Allah’s will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth."?' Maybe you could show me the range in saying " It is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land. Make war on them any place that you find yourself. Any place that you meet them – kill them. Kill the Jews and those among the Americans who are like them… The Jews only understand might. Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere."?

Do the BBC consider that sentiments like those I have quoted above are not worthy of reporting or were the BBC unaware of them?

Do you consider that Yasser Arafat's comments are worthy of reporting and would BBC Online have reported them had the means been available in 1993?


Once again I consider that the BBC have not fully addressed my complaint, please do so now.


Regards

NotaSheep'





7) 21 December - Another email received from Tarik Kafala - Seemingly in response to another copy of my complaint:

'Dear Sir or madam,
Thank you for your further comments on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11127409
I explained in my first email why we felt it editorially justified to report the story as we did. You appear to agree that it was reasonable to report Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments as we did.  
I also felt that I answered your question, but I will try again.
Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian groups and organisations speak with several voices. At different times and to different audiences they say different things. Sometimes their comments are might be seen as “conciliatory”, sometimes very warlike. There are Hamas leaders, for example, who regularly call for violent Jihad to reclaim all of “Palestine”. Others have indicated that they are ready to accept (maybe live with for the foreseeable future) a truce with Israel and a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. Hamas’ true position is somewhere in between and the argument within the movement is an important one. To report the shrill and extreme statements of some of the Hamas firebrands is therefore misleading.
So, to answer your question, no we have not reported Ziyad Abu al-Haj's comments, nor other comments by of Dr Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halabiah. But we do feel that across our coverage and in our background features we reflect accurately, fairly and in detail and the position of Hamas on the key issues.
Bets regards,
Tarik Kafala
Middle East editor
BBC News website'


8) 24 December - My response (08:28)

Dear Tarik,

Thank you for your reply which I find interesting, if incomplete.

I have responded to your points in turn as that is the most convenient way for me, however I have also highlighted the key question that I have posed so as to try and ensure that you do not miss answering it when you reply to all of my points.


I do indeed consider it reasonable to report Rabbi Ovaida's comments as I always said I did;  my complaint is that the BBC seem unwilling to report the hate-speech often expressed by Hamas and Fatah's religious and secular leaders.

I accept that 'Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian groups and organisations speak with several voices' and that what they say often depends on the audience to whom they are speaking. You mention that there are 'Hamas leaders, for example, who regularly call for violent Jihad to reclaim all of “Palestine”' and I presume that you can show me coverage on the BBC of such leaders' sentiments. However can you also show me where the BBC have reported sentiments such as those I presented to you that not only should all of Palestine be reclaimed but that Palestinians are enjoined to "Kill the Jews and those among the Americans who are like them…  Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere."?

You say that 'Others have indicated that they are ready to accept (maybe live with for the foreseeable future) a truce with Israel and a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.' and I accept that some Fatah and other Palestinians have taken this line in discussions with the West, I am less certain that any Hamas leaders have, maybe you could tell me who?

You go on to state that '
Hamas’ true position is somewhere in between', how do you know this? How do you know that Hamas's position is somewhere in between the two extremes? Is it not possible that their true position is as in their Charter and statements made for home consumption and not anything to do with their statements made for the benefit of a gullible West? Do you know the meaning of the word taqiyya in this context?

If one person says that Sir Isaac Newton is dead and one says that Sir Isaac Newton is dead, is it necessarily the truth that Sir Isaac Newton is neither dead nor alive? Or is it the case that one person is telling the truth and one lying? Is it the BBC's position that the truth always lies between two sets of opinions?


You say that 'To report the shrill and extreme statements of some of the Hamas firebrands is therefore misleading. ' Yet the BBC were happy to report the extreme statements of one firebrand Israeli Rabbi.  Why is it 'misleading' to report the words of 'Hamas firebrands' but not those of an Israeli firebrand?  Do the BBC consider that Rabbi Ovaida's statements are isolated sentiments or representative of those of much of Israel? Does the BBC apply different standards to the speeches of Israeli and Palestinian 'firebrands'?


You conclude that '
So, to answer your question, no we have not reported Ziyad Abu al-Haj's comments, nor other comments by of Dr Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halabiah. But we do feel that across our coverage and in our background features we reflect accurately, fairly and in detail and the position of Hamas on the key issues.'. I disagree, it seems to me that by not reporting the often genocidal comments made by Palestinian leaders the BBC is deliberately skewing UK and world public opinion against Israel and in favour of the Palestinians. The BBC is meant to be unbiased and I do not believe that in this respect you are. Where is the detailed reporting of the regular anti-Semitic and murderous broadcasts by the Palestinian media for example?


I would appreciate your response to my above questions as I consider there still to be areas that need addressing regarding BBC bias in this matter.


Kind regards

NotaSheep 





9) 11 January - Tark Kafala tells me that he has 'tried to reply to your specific questions as well as I can.If you wish to take the matter further please write to: Editorial Complaints Unit, Room 5170, White City, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS or you can e-mail the Unit at the address: ecu@bbc.co.uk'




10) 11 January - My final response to which I have had no reply

'You have not addressed my specific questions as you have ignored my last email completely. Try answering just the one point that I think gets to the heart of the matter:

You say that 'To report the shrill and extreme statements of some of the Hamas firebrands is therefore misleading. ' Yet the BBC were happy to report the extreme statements of one firebrand Israeli Rabbi. Why is it 'misleading' to report the words of 'Hamas firebrands' but not those of an Israeli firebrand?  Does the BBC apply different standards to the speeches of Israeli and Palestinian 'firebrands'?

Regards

NotaSheep'

So what does Global Warming mean for the UK's weather?

Depending on the 'expert' and when they make their pronouncement it will mean warmer, drier, colder or wetter weather. Here's a few examples of what scientists know will happen... (my comments in bold)

1) Here is a link to a 1999 Science Daily article which explains that:

'The research, which appears in the June 3 issue of the British journal Nature, offers no predictions on what temperatures future winters will bring, but suggests a continuation of the current trend for three to four more decades.

If warming trends continue, said Drew Shindell, associate research scientist at Columbia's Center for Climate Systems Research and lead author of the report, northern regions of Europe and Asia and, to a lesser extent, North America, can expect winters that are both warmer and wetter, with increased rain and snow.'


2) The Independent in an article by Charles Onians told us that:
'snow is starting to disappear from our lives' and that 'Children just aren't going to know what snow is'.


So that's both more snow and less snow...


3) The Guardian in July 2006 eagerly reported that:
'Peering into the future is a tricky business, especially for something as volatile as weather and climate. But scientists know a lot about how events will unfold. They use giant computer programs, evolved from those that make weather forecasts, to work out how the atmosphere will react to the blanket of carbon dioxide we humans are steadily wrapping around the planet. As we do, and as more of the sun's heat is unable to escape, the air and the sea warm. But that takes time, which means that whatever we do, our climate destiny is fixed for the next few decades.... Here, we present a picture of what might happen in Britain over the next century if the world fails to take serious action, and global emissions continue to rise at about the same, or a slightly slower, rate. So what does it reveal? ... Rainfall will decline in the summer and the increased deluges in winter will struggle to replenish thirsty reservoirs because much of the water will run off the baked ground.

I wonder what these scientists would say Scientists to those of us who have noticed that in the UK rather than have know reduced summer rainfall and empty reservoirs, we have had wet summers in 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010?


Let's be honest the 'science' is being used to scaremonger and advance the true 'warmist' agenda of control and taxation.

Stop vegetable abuse


Because cucumbers are not happy...

Thanks to Theo Spark for the spot.

What do you mean, Israel isn't always to blame?

The revelations from Wikileaks that the leaders of several Islamic countries were less concerned about Israel than they were about iran and the news per Al Jazeera that Palestinian leaders had made more concessions to Israel than the Western media wanted seems to have upset a lot of people. Rather than detail this myself I suggest you read Robin Shepherd's detailed piece, here's a couple of extracts to whet your appetite:
'To the horror of a European political intelligentsia which has been steadfast to the point of fanatical in its opposition to Israeli “settlements” in east Jerusalem, the Palestinian leadership itself, we now know, has long accepted that the vast majority of Israeli settlements can be considered legitimate and would become part of Israel under any reasonable peace agreement.

This is utterly devastating since it simultaneously shows that everyone from the British Foreign Office and the BBC to the European Commission and the continent’s passionately anti-Israeli NGO community have been adopting a position which was significantly more uncompromising on “settlements” than the Palestinian leadership itself, and also that that same Palestinian leadership had accepted that the so called 1967 “borders” — the gold standard for practically every anti-Israeli polemic around — are irrelevant to the prospects of a lasting peace.

In one of its most resentful leader columns for years, the Guardian was nothing short of apoplectic: not so much with Israel, but with a Palestinian leadership which has effectively blown the credibility of the Guardian’s very own mantras on the MidEast straight out of the water. The Palestinian leadership, the paper declaimed, had been shown to be “weak” and “craven”. Their concessions amounted to “surrender of land Palestinians have lived on for centuries”. And, in words that look alarmingly close to the position adopted by Hamas, “The Palestinian Authority may continue as an employer but, as of today, its legitimacy as negotiators will have all but ended on the Palestinian street.” This is sheer spite.


The Palestinian leadership accepts what any reasonable person has been able to accept for decades. The Guardian then slams them as surrender monkeys. The Guardian newspaper is more hardline against Israel than the Palestinian leadership itself. And bear in mind, as you mull over the implications of that stark and unyielding state of affairs, that the Palestinian Authority is led by Mahmoud Abbas, who is a Holocaust denier.
But it gets worse. The only conceivable way out of this for the anti-Israel community is to turn this all upside down and argue — as analysts, reporters (anyone they can get their hands on) have been doing on the BBC all day — that what this really shows is the extent of Israeli “intransigence”: the Palestinians offer all these concessions, and still the Israelis say no! This was the line adopted by Paul Danahar, the BBC’s MidEast bureau chief, who quite casually averred that, “The Israelis look churlish for turning down major concessions”.
 ...

Tragicomically, it just won’t wash. Privately and morally, senior Palestinians can see that there is nothing illegitimate or even especially problematic about most of the “settlements”, (as reasonable observers of the MidEast have been saying for years). This we know from the leaks themselves. But publicly and politically they cannot sell such concessions to their own people. This we know because they are currently trying to distance themselves from the leaks, and because they educate their own people in an implacable rejectionism which extends to the “moderate” Palestinian authority glorifying suicide bombers and other terrorists by naming streets and squares after them.'
Read the rest and I will leave you with an extract from the thoughts of a Guardian commenter called 'KrustytheKlown':
'It is Israel that is risking its security and giving away its historic land (despite its legal right for all of historic Israel) to
  • 'historic Israel' LOL! Wtf is 'historic Israel' and what 'legal rights' pertain to it?'

    Why do some people hate Israel so much?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Some more of Peter Sissons's comments about the BBC that I think bear repetition

The Mail's article based on Peter Sissons's memoirs had some interesting lines that I spotted:
1) Following a Health & Safety explanation about the dangers of water glasses:
'Proper water glasses would be available only for discussion ­programmes, when it might be aesthetically pleasing to have them in shot. The floor manager would receive a special payment for handling them.'

2) '... when the culture of political correctness began to influence what appeared on the screen. Soon after I started on News 24 in 2003, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal returned from the Gulf to a traditional welcome from families and friends at Portsmouth. TV reporters closed in to interview crew members, the vast majority of whom were men.

Of the five vox-pops that featured in the BBC News, four were with women sailors. During my stint of presenting that day I complained about this and asked if we could have some more ­balanced interviews, but in vain.'


The BBC brainwashing its staff as well as its viewers and listeners.

White people rapping poorly

WhitePeopleRappingPoorly.com, it does exactly what is says on the tin - or rather in the URL...

My favourites..


The middle class white cycling rappers


and

The whitest girl rappers ever - 'Haley (Roscoe Jenkins) and Ashlyn (PJ Calamity) write a rap for Jonas who is gay'

News on Sky but not yet reported by BBC, but then is it really news?

Sky News report that:
'Two former Cabinet Secretaries have disputed Tony Blair's claim on Friday that the Cabinet knew military action against Iraq was likely a year before the invasion.

The former Prime Minister told the Iraq Inquiry on Friday that his cabinet were aware from early 2002 that they had endorsed a policy that would probably lead to an attack on Iraq.

But Lord Wilson, who was Cabinet Secretary from 1998 until 2002, and Lord Turnbull who was his successor, have both told the Inquiry that this was not the case.
Lord Wilson claimed that Mr Blair told his cabinet in a meeting in April 2002 that "nothing was imminent".

Echoing evidence given by other Downing Street officials, Lord Wilson described a lack of official cabinet meetings in those crucial 15 months before the invasion in March 2003.

...

Numerous witnesses have claimed that under Mr Blair's leadership, the Cabinet was not routinely consulted on key decisions and commitments that were being made regarding Iraq.

Lord Wilson told the Inquiry: "I don't think anyone would have gone away thinking they had authorised a course of action that would lead to military action."

His successor, Lord Turnbull, claimed that Mr Blair continually put off Cabinet discussions about the possibility of attacking Iraq in the months before the March 2003 invasion.

"The prime minister basically said, 'well, they [his ministers] knew the score'. That isn't borne out by what actually happened."

Lord Turnbull added: "None of those really key papers [options papers about Iraq and the threat posed] were presented to the cabinet which is why I don't accept the former Prime Minister's claim that they knew the score."

On Friday, when asked whether or not he had ensured his cabinet were fully informed, Tony Blair said: "I don't think there was any doubt about that at all.
"If you went back, unless people were not listening to the news or reading the newspapers, which is not my experience of the Cabinet Ministers, it was the issue the entire time."
Will Tony BliarBlair be asked to return to the Chilcot Inquiry yet again or is there really very little point? As I have said many times in the past - 'The chances of Tony Blair answering a question totally truthfully look slim and unless he is under oath and wired to a lie-detector I don't think that I will believe his 'evidence' anyway.'


Using bad weather as an excuse for poor economic figures

"Then we had a terrible month of weather which hindered transport and communications in business in the country.Obviously it has been a difficult few months. But that just shows just how fragile the recovery is."
Not the words of George Osborne that the Labour/BBC coalition have been attacking today as bad-timed and a poor excuse, but those of Gordon Brown in April 2010 blaming the then less than encouraging rise in growth on the snow rather than his own taxation policy.

I don't remember the BBC giving Gordon Brown a hard time last April but then there was an election to try and secure for Labour at that time!


Thanks to Guido Fawkes for the quotation spot.

'The BBC became a propaganda machine for climate change zealots, says Peter Sissons... and I was treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent'

The Mail have the latest excerpts from Peter Sissons's memoirs; this time Climate Change features. Here's a few extracts:
'For me, though, the most worrying aspect of political correctness was over the story that recurred with increasing frequency during my last ten years at the BBC — global warming (or ‘climate change’, as it became known when temperatures appeared to level off or fall slightly after 1998).

From the beginning I was unhappy at how one-sided the BBC’s coverage of the issue was, and how much more complicated the climate system was than the over-simplified two-minute reports that were the stock-in-trade of the BBC’s environment correspondents.

These, without exception, accepted the UN’s assurance that ‘the science is settled’ and that human emissions of carbon dioxide threatened the world with catastrophic climate change. Environmental pressure groups could be guaranteed that their press releases, usually beginning with the words ‘scientists say . . . ’ would get on air unchallenged.

...

My interest in climate change grew out of my concern for the failings of BBC journalism in reporting it. In my early and formative days at ITN, I learned that we have an obligation to report both sides of a story. It is not journalism if you don’t. It is close to propaganda.

The BBC’s editorial policy on ­climate change, however, was spelled out in a report by the BBC Trust — whose job is to oversee the workings of the BBC in the interests of the public — in 2007. This disclosed that the BBC had held ‘a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’.

The error here, of course, was that the BBC never at any stage gave equal space to the opponents of the consensus.

But the Trust continued its ­pretence that climate change ­dissenters had been, and still would be, heard on its airwaves. ‘Impartiality,’ it said, ‘always requires a breadth of view, for as long as minority ­opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space.’

In reality, the ‘appropriate space’ given to minority views on climate change was practically zero.

Moreover, we were allowed to know practically nothing about that top-level seminar mentioned by the BBC Trust at which such momentous conclusions were reached. Despite a Freedom of Information request, they wouldn’t even make the guest list public.

There is one brief account of the ­proceedings, written by a conservative commentator who was there. He wrote subsequently that he was far from impressed with the 30 key BBC staff who attended. None of them, he said, showed ‘even a modicum of professional journalistic ­curiosity on the subject’. None appeared to read anything on the subject other than the Guardian.

This attitude was underlined a year later in another statement: ‘BBC News currently takes the view that their reporting needs to be calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus that global warming is man-made.’ Those scientists outside the ‘consensus’ waited in vain for the phone to ring.

It’s the lack of simple curiosity about one of the great issues of our time that I find so puzzling about the BBC. When the topic first came to ­prominence, the first thing I did was trawl the internet to find out as much as possible about it.

Anyone who does this with a mind not closed by religious fervour will find a mass of material by respectable scientists who question the orthodoxy. Admittedly, they are in the minority, but scepticism should be the natural instinct of scientists — and the default setting of journalists.

Yet the cream of the BBC’s inquisitors during my time there never laid a glove on those who repeated the ­mantra that ‘the science is settled’. On one occasion, an MP used BBC airtime to link climate change ­doubters with perverts and holocaust deniers, and his famous interviewer didn’t bat an eyelid.

Meanwhile, Al Gore, the former U.S. Vice-President and climate change campaigner, entertained the BBC’s editorial elite in his suite at the Dorchester and was given a free run to make his case to an admiring internal audience at Television Centre.

His views were never subjected to journalistic scrutiny, even when a British High Court judge ruled that his film, An Inconvenient Truth, ­contained at least nine scientific errors, and that ministers must send new guidance to teachers before it was screened in schools. From the BBC’s standpoint, the judgment was the real inconvenience, and its ­environment correspondents downplayed its significance.

At the end of November 2007 I was on duty on News 24 when the UN panel on climate change produced a report which later turned out to contain ­significant inaccuracies, many stemming from its reliance on non-peer reviewed sources and best-guesses by environmental activists.

But the way the BBC’s reporter treated the story was as if it was beyond a vestige of doubt, the last word on the catastrophe awaiting mankind. The most challenging questions addressed to a succession of UN employees and climate ­activists were ‘How urgent is it?’ and ‘How much danger are we in?’

Back in the studio I suggested that we line up one or two sceptics to react to the report, but received a totally negative response, as if I was some kind of lunatic. I went home and wrote a note to myself: ‘What happened to the journalism? The BBC has ­completely lost it.’

A damaging episode illustrating the BBC’s supine attitude came in 2008, when the BBC’s ‘environment ­analyst’, Roger Harrabin, wrote a piece on the BBC website reporting some work by the World ­Meteorological Organization that questioned whether global ­warming was going to continue at the rate ­projected by the UN panel.

A green activist, Jo Abbess, emailed him to complain. Harrabin at first resisted. Then she berated him: ‘It would be better if you did not quote the sceptics’ — something Harrabin had not actually done — ‘Please reserve the main BBC online channel for emerging truth. Otherwise I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically manipulated.’

Did Harrabin tell her to get lost? He tweaked the story — albeit not as radically as she demanded — and emailed back: ‘Have a look and tell me you are happier.’

This exchange went round the world in no time, spread by a ­jubilant Abbess. Later, Harrabin defended himself, saying they were only minor changes — but the sense of the changes, as specifically sought by Ms Abbess, was plainly to harden the piece against the sceptics.

Many people wouldn’t call that minor, but Harrabin’s BBC bosses accepted his explanation.

The sense of entitlement with which green groups regard the BBC was brought home to me when what was billed as a major climate change rally was held in London on a ­miserable, wintry, wet day.

I was on duty on News 24 and it had been arranged for me to ­interview the leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas. She clearly expected, as do most environmental activists, what I call a ‘free hit’ — to be allowed to say her piece without challenge.

I began, good naturedly, by observing that the climate didn’t seem to be playing ball at the moment, and that we were having a particularly cold winter while carbon emissions were powering ahead.

Miss Lucas reacted as if I’d ­physically molested her. She was outraged. It was no job of the BBC — the BBC! — to ask questions like that. Didn’t I realise that there could be no argument over the science?

I persisted with a few simple observations of fact, such as there appeared to have been no warming for ten years, in contradiction of all the alarmist computer models.

A listener from one of the sceptical climate-change websites noted that ‘Lucas was virtually apoplectic and demanding to know how the BBC could be making such ­comments. Sissons came back that his role as a journalist was always to review all sides. Lucas finished with a veiled warning, to which Sissons replied with an “Ooh!”’

A week after this interview, I went into work and picked up my mail from my pigeon hole. Among the envelopes was a small Jiffy Bag, which I opened. It contained a substantial amount of faeces wrapped in several sheets of toilet paper.

At the time no other interviewers on the BBC — or indeed on ITV News or Channel Four News — had asked questions about climate change which didn’t start from the assumption that the science was settled.'
Sorry for reposting such a long piece, there is in fact far more to read in The Mail's article, do read it all and remember the science is not settled, however much the BBC would like to pretend it is.

Compare and contrast

The BBC are on the attack over the GDP figures released today, what a contrast with the way they reported economic news a year ago. Then I reported this:
'The BBC have excelled themselves this lunchtime. They report that "Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 0.6% last month, taking the annual rate up to 2.9% from 1.9% in November." but it's not one of the main headline stories and although the article contains such information as, the very scary, "That was the biggest monthly rise in the annual index since records began and exceeded the City's expectations for an increase to 2.6%." and "This was a rise from 0.3% in November, and also constitutes the biggest monthly rise in the annual rate of RPI inflation since 1979." The BBC are quick to list the reasons why we should not worry and so provide their Labour government with excuses:

"The annual increase in CPI mainly came about because of a number of unusual factors that had depressed prices a year earlier."

I would suggest that such terrible economic news under a Conservative government would have received somewhat more complete coverage, more wailing and bemoaning the economic disaster and interviews with the opposition. However under a Labour government all is peace and quiet, don't scare the population especially this close to an election.

In fact this news means that we are just starting on the path to traditional Labour high inflation, in fact stagflation which I and others have been predicting for quite some time now. Don't expect to see or hear Robert Peston or Nick Robinson discussing Stagflation any time soon, after all there is a general election to be secured for Labour first. As I have said before, there is still time to buy gold (and silver). '
It looks as though my prediction came true; but was it that hard?