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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Who was responsible for the Lockerbie terrorist attack?

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was found guilty of the atrocity but suspiciously released early. Meanwhile the finger of suspicion has often been pointed at Syria, The Australian  has resurrected this story with its report that:
'ALLEGATIONS that police plotted to mislead the original inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing, resulting in a wrongful conviction, have been passed to official investigators.

The file being considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission claims that evidence gathered at the scene of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people, was lost or destroyed.

False evidence, it is alleged, was then provided to incriminate Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Libyan agent convicted of the atrocity at a trial in The Netherlands in 2001.

According to the file, the police investigation of Megrahi was "reverse-engineered" with evidence provided to match the thesis that he was guilty.
...
The surrender of suspects by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was a key element in British Prime Minister Tony Blair's dealings with Tripoli. This led to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Libya in 1999, after a 15-year hiatus.

The commission's report is expected to include allegations by Megrahi's defence team that crucial statements made to police by Tony Gauci, a Maltese shopkeeper who sold the Lockerbie bomber clothing which was later found wrapped around the bomb, were withheld by the prosecution.

Mr Gauci's statements are believed to have implicated Mohammed Abo Talb, a terrorist with links to the Iranian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, one of the early suspects for the Lockerbie bombing.

The commission is also said to be in possession of a press statement, prepared by Dumfries and Galloway police in 1990, which named members of the PFLP-GC as its chief suspects but which was never released.
Talb is serving life in Sweden for bombing an airport in Denmark, but was a free man operating in Europe in 1988.
...
It adds weight to claims that it was "politically unacceptable" to pursue the PFLP-GC when the 1991 Gulf War made it necessary to maintain good relations with Iran and Syria.'
I remember Private Eye producing a special investigation report that fingered the true culprits of the Lockerbie atrocity, maybe I should dig that out... The involvement of Tony Blair and maybe Peter Mandelson in rehabilitating Libya and creating trade links with that country is something that needs investigation; to my mind something smells...

The one hundred and forty fourth weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's winner goes to the BBC and Alistair Darling for combining to produce this BBC article that informs us that:
'According to extracts seen by the Labour Uncut blog, Mr Darling will call Mr Brown's mood "brutal and volcanic".'
Gordon Brown 'brutal and volcanic' - "No shit, Sherlock"

The article also contains this line:
'The book will also claim Mr Brown tried to place close allies, such as Yvette Cooper and Baroness Vadera, at the Treasury to "keep an eye" on Mr Darling and report back on what he was doing.'
Really, Gordon Brown was also a control freak who needed placemen to keep an eye on the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he wanted to replace with Ed 'second choice' Balls! - "No shit, Sherlock"

The trouble with Hurricanes





According to Under The Mountain Bunker this is a picture of a shark swimming down a street in Puerto Rico - true? If so then this is quite a picture!

Interesting breaking news re the killer of WPC Yvonne Fletcher

I hear rumours that the Libyan rebel 'governmnet' has confirmed that they know the whereabouts of Matouk Mohammed Matouk, the man suspected of shooting WPC Yvonne Fletcher dead outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984. Will they extradite him back to the UK to finally face trial, or will they prove as obstructive, on this matter, as was Colonel Gadaffi's regime? If the latter then this should be unacceptable to UK government bearing in mind how much money UK have helping Libyan rebels defeat Gadaffi. However don't expect strong words, let alone deeds from William Hague.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Is this the future for the EU and Libya?

Summer Patriot, Winter Soldier has a theory:
'what's next for libya? why, a partnership agreement w/ the euro med is likely in the offing, that's what .... .

friends:

libya has some oil.

europe has no oil, no coal and not much by way of hydroelectric. seems odd, that.

as soon as the libyan rebels get it all sort out who is gonna run the place, and as soon as the international "community" extends diplomatic recognition to whoever it is garners sufficient "progressive" bona fides, then something a little odd and unnoticed is going to happen.--

libya will enter into a "partnership agreement" with the euro med, and offshoot of the european union.

it will give the euro's access to libya's oil, and all the sunshine it wants. in exchange for which, the euro union will give libyan citizens travel and work privileges in europe, and access to europe's social welfare system, and access to european educational systems. and, the euro union will also give islam more demographic access to the european continent, and more political leverage by which to wage stealth jihad and the conquest of europe.

you can look it up, if you wish. i have written extensively on this, as has pamela geller at atlas shrugs. oh, hell, i will just make it easy, and give you the links to my shoppe. http://wintersoldier2008.typepad.com/summer_patriot_winter_sol/2010/01/the-radical-left-so-despises-europe-that-it-intends-to-destroy-it-by-muslim-immigration-and-i-have-t.html and, a list of links to other blogs that picked it up, including european blogs. http://wintersoldier2008.typepad.com/summer_patriot_winter_sol/2010/01/previous-post-excerpted-linked-by-domestic-and-foreign-blogs-neat-that-.html.

kadhafi would not enter into the euro med partnership agreements with the euro union. what? what? i certainly do not know why. integrity?

john jay @ 08.28.2011'
As ever with Summer Patriot, Winter Soldier there is an unwillingness to use capital letters... but an interesting conspiracy theory and one that is not totally unbelievable.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bringing the US budget 'cuts' as well as deficit and debt into focus

Once figures start to run into the trillions I have difficulty visualising the amounts. These two items might help you as they did me...

The first is an attempt to remove zeroes and compare the US to a family budget.


The second is a piece of CNN video that tries to explain how big a trillion is...

'CNN asks a Temple University mathematics professor how much $1 trillion actually is. The story notes Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is correct when he says that if you spent $1 million per day starting in the year 0, you still would not have spent $1 trillion by 2009.'

Tricky choice!

Rick 'ex-pilot' Perry or Barack 'ex-dope smoker' Obama - tricky, very tricky!


Thanks to Theo Spark for the spot.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

What does the BBC find newsworthy?

The BBC manage to find the space to tell us that:
'Hundreds take part in Worthing's Big Bike Sunday

Hundreds of people have taken part in a cycling event in a Sussex coastal town which saw cars give way to pedal power.

A section of Worthing seafront between Wallace Avenue and Grand Avenue was closed to traffic as part of Big Bike Sunday.'
Gosh, that's a hard-hitting news story.

Not too surprisingly the BBC do not find any space to tell us about the rally in Trafalgar Square today where:
'Israel’s supporters came out in Trafalgar Square today to show sympathy with Israel as rockets continue to rain down from Gaza and to wish a happy 25th birthday to Gilad Schalit who is in his sixth year in isolation in Gaza having been kidnapped by Hamas from Israeli soil when he was 19.

There were some tremendous speeches.

Hasan Afzal, of British Muslims for Israel, said he supports Israel because it is “the only country in the Middle East where Muslims have freedom and democracy”.'
If Richard Millett can record the event why not the BBC?

Some days ago I predicted that the BBC would not mention the 25th birthday of Gilad Shalit. I was wrong the BBC did manage this piece on Friday. Nothing today and that BBC piece is a masterpiece of manipulation; here are some lovely extracts:
'It is thought that there are more than 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including some 200 who are under 18 years old.

...

Indirect talks - being mediated by Egypt and Germany - have centred on a prisoner exchange that would see hundreds of Palestinians freed from Israeli jails.

Mr Netanyahu has rejected the demand unless some of the worst offenders - including 450 with Israeli "blood on their hands" - are exiled. Hamas has rejected this condition.

Some of the 5,000 Palestinian prisoners have been tried and convicted of serious crimes such as murder in the Israeli courts, but others are being held without charge.'
But not a word on the date of Gilad Shalit's birthday and nothing about the rally in Trafalgar Square. Space issues or just the usual BBC hatred of Israel?

No conclusion drawn about inclusivity

Jeremy Bowen's latest piece for the BBC contains this comment:
'My passports say it all. Like most foreign correspondents in the Middle East I have two - one for Israel, the other for Arab countries.

That's because some Arab states will not let you in if you have an Israeli visa.'
And yet Israel is called the 'apartheid state'.

Do you need a larger hard disk for backing-up to?

Do you never have a large enough hard disk to back your network of PCs, laptops and fileservers onto? Well I hear that a 120 petabyte drive is being built by researchers at IBM's Almaden laboratory. It will be the largest data repository ever built, and will comprise 200,000 hard disk drives strung together.

120 petabytes would be large enough to store over a trillion files but in home user speak could store 24 billion 5MB MP3 files. Maybe more impressively it could store 60 copies of the biggest backup of the Web, the 150 billion pages that make up the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine. So I suppose it might solve your data storage issues.

Do you think that mohels charges too much for performing a bris?

How much does a mohel charge? I have no idea but it can't be as much as is reported at Healthcare Savvy where I read:
'I have recently had an interesting experience which left me completely shocked.  This is not a posting about whether or not to get a circumcision, just at the astronomical costs involved.

My son was born 14 mo ago and because he was born in a Birth Center, he could not get circumcised at birth.  Our hospital (Cambridge Hospital in MA) does not have a pediatric surgeon for this procedure so we were given a referral for a doctor at Mass General (Boston, MA).  When I called Mass General to get a quote on the price, I got the following:
$23,000
(includes Facility, Physician, Anesthesia)

This procedure is less than 30 minutes; the doctor himself even stated that this is one of the easiest procedures.  I’ve researched prices for other countries and found a high of $1200.

We are insured so presumably my insurance (Harvard Pilgram/United) has a discounted rate but I’m not able to get access to this price.  The insurance would presumably cover 80% of the cost but I would be responsible for co-insurance, deductible, and who knows what else.

It took 15 calls and 3 hours to get the information relating to the $23k.  It’s ridiculous that it takes this long but also that a hospital could charge this much.'

$23,000 seems rather steep to me for what is after all just a little snip! I cannot believe that a mohel charges even 1% of that.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A Rule 5 Saturday night post

Her name? Sara Jean Underwood and Hollywood Tuna have more photos.

Ah the memories


Tina Turner - "Ball of Confusion" from the fantastic 1982 B.E.F. 'Music of Quality and Distinction' album.

Thanks to Gary Crowley on Radio London for playing that yesterday.

Here's another of may favourites from that album

'Wichita Lineman' by by British Electric Foundation's Glenn Gregory
I love this version so much. In fact I prefer it to the 1968 original by Glen Campbell

The one hundred and forty third weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's winner is as reported on Medical Express. It seems that:
'A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals medical evidence that women’s nipples stimulate the brain in the same way that genital stimulation does... A team of researchers at Rutgers University led by psychologist Barry Komisaruk, recruited 11 healthy women between the ages of 23 and 56. The women were placed in an fMRI scanner and asked to stimulate their cervix, nipple, clitoris and vagina with either a rhythmic finger tap or plastic dildo.
The brain images of the women revealed increased activity in the medial paracentral lobule for each area of stimulation, however each stimulated area was responsible for lighting up a specific region.

Stimulating a woman's nipples is pleasurable in the same way as stimulating a woman's genitals - "No shit, Sherlock"


And now if you'll excuse me I think Mrs NotaSheep and I need to conduct some more
experiments in this field of study...

Why the double standard?

The BBC would never lead an article with the headline 'Bolivian Muslims jailed for serial rapes' as their religion would be deemed irrelevant, so why do they think it fine to use the headline 'Bolivian Mennonites jailed for serial rapes' for news article?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Anti-Israel bias in The Guardian

'Voices from the conflict: Israeli and Palestinian op-eds in The Guardian' is the title of this special report on Just Journalism. It shows how
'The Guardian has consistently published commentary from Palestinians who reject the concept of two states for two peoples, in keeping with an editorial line that questions the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state.'
Just Journalism's summary of their own report can be read here but do read the actual report which is based on a six month study of the comment pieces by Israelis and Palestinians that appeared in The Guardian.
'It is a qualitative and quantitative analysis that documents how The Guardian instinctively promotes the views of those who oppose the very concept of two states for two peoples.'

Here are some extracts for you to ponder on, and whilst doing so you can ask yourselves first if the BBC's output differs that markedly from that of The Guardian and second what this convergence of opinion on the Israeli/Palestinian question says about the left of politics.
'Its findings show that The Guardian repeatedly provided a platform to Palestinians who see the Jewish right to self-determination as either irrelevant or unacceptable. While the few Israelis who offered their opinions are associated with a political left that believes Israel must help facilitate an independent Palestinian state, The Guardian gave preference to those on the other side of the conflict who see Israel’s very existence as an intolerable intrusion. Characteristic of this was the comment pieces by those affiliated with Hamas, which believes that there can be no resolution until Israel is physically destroyed by force.'

'On the third day of its coverage (of the Palestinian Papers) The Guardian offered Osama Hamdan, the head of Hamas’ international relations department, the opportunity to give his verdict on the Palestine papers. Hamdan has justified the exact tactics and aims that have resulted in Hamas being labelled a terrorist organisation, arguing that suicide attacks on civilian buses are acceptable since ‘anyone who comes to live in a war zone is a combatant, regardless of whether he wears a uniform’7, and explaining the ‘final goal of the resistance’:
‘We are making the preparations for a confrontation. This is not because we need
to be prepared for an Israeli act of aggression – after all, aggression is intrinsic to this entity – but because the final goal of the resistance is to wipe this entity off the face of the Earth. This goal necessitates the development of the capabilities of the resistance, until this entity is wiped out.’
'In an illuminating interview18 with islamonline in 2008, Abumarzuq’s gave
detailed responses to a variety of questions. He explained that even if Israel were
to withdraw from the West Bank Hamas would not recognise it as this would
mean ‘giving up our right to the rest of Palestine.’ Abumarzuq further clarified
that this was not a matter of failing to recognise that Israel actually physically
existed; ‘the problem is that it doesn’t have the right to’.'

If you don't have the time to read the whole report, and I think you should find the time, here's the Executive Summary:
' * The Guardian published more op-eds by Palestinians than by Israelis during the first half of 2011, with eleven comment pieces by nine Palestinian contributors in comparison with six by four Israelis
* Three of the Palestinians who contributed op-eds during this period were either members of Hamas or strongly affiliated with it, and have endorsed terrorist attacks
* Four further Palestinians were secular nationalists who also reject Israel’s legitimacy and endorse policies that would turn it into an Arab majority state
* All of the Israelis given op-eds are associated with the left-wing of Israeli politics that supports the concessions needed to create a Palestinian state in order to facilitate two states for two peoples
* The majority of comment pieces by Israeli contributors dealt with the repercussions of the Arab Spring, rather than directly with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself.'
The Guardian and the BBC have decided to support the Palestinian cause and if that means helping those who deny Israel's right to exist then the view seems to be 'so be it'. The end of apartheid in South Africa left many on the left with no 'cause' to fight for, no country's embassy to scream insults at or picket and no easy target for boycotts and moralistic attacks. Israel has provided these people with a target and the BBC/Guardian are at the forefront of the new movement.

One might wonder how a supposedly liberal newspaper has become associated so closely with a point of view that is anything but liberal, but that would be to forget the past performance of such 'liberals'. Remember the support for Stalin's Russia and later for anything that was not American.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Top 10 Edinburgh Fringe Jokes

1) Nick Helm: "I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

2) Tim Vine: "Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels."

3) Hannibal Buress: "People say 'I'm taking it one day at a time'. You know what? So is everybody. That's how time works."

4) Tim Key: "Drive-Thru McDonalds was more expensive than I thought... once you've hired the car..."

5) Matt Kirshen: "I was playing chess with my friend and he said, 'Let's make this interesting'. So we stopped playing chess."

6) Sarah Millican: "My mother told me, you don't have to put anything in your mouth you don't want to. Then she made me eat broccoli, which felt like double standards."

7) Alan Sharp: "I was in a band which we called The Prevention, because we hoped people would say we were better than The Cure."

8) Mark Watson: "Someone asked me recently - what would I rather give up, food or sex. Neither! I'm not falling for that one again, wife."

9) Andrew Lawrence: "I admire these phone hackers. I think they have a lot of patience. I can't even be bothered to check my OWN voicemails."

10) DeAnne Smith: "My friend died doing what he loved ... Heroin."


In my opinion:
1) So, so
2) Very good but Tim Vine is brilliant, best line
3) better than 1) but that's about it
4) better than 1) but that's about it
5) Fairly funny
6) So, so
7) Quite clever, maybe second best line
8) Fairly funny but sounds familiar
9) Fairly funny but sounds familiar
10) I am sure I've heard that one before as well

Were there really no funnier lines at this year's Fringe?

Public Service Announcement re Nurofen Plus

The The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning:
'Reckitt Benckiser (UK) Ltd has received three reports of rogue Seroquel XL 50mg tablets in cartons of three different batches of Nurofen Plus tablets. We understand cartons of Nurofen Plus tablets contained only rogue cut-down blisters of Seroquel XL tablets and no Nurofen Plus tablets were present. The rogue Seroquel XL tablet cut-down blisters included parallel imported tablets (from two different PLPI companies) and originator product.'
Is that important you may be asking. Well yes it is as Nurofen is a pain-killer whilst Seroquel is a prescription-only anti-psychotic drug used to treat disorders that include schizophrenia, mania and bipolar depression.

The Nurofen Plus batches to look out for are:
Pack size Batch number Expiry date PL First distributed
 32 Tablets  13JJ  03/2014  00327/0082  30 April 2011
 32 Tablets  57JJ  05/2014  00063/0376  21 June 2011
 32 Tablets  49JJ  05/2014  00063/0376  1 July 2011

When will it stop raining?

As I woke up to the sound of falling rain for another August morning, I wondered when the last week without rain was this 'summer'. Then I remembered this post of mine from July 2009:
'As I sit in London watching the rain fall as it has for the last few July days, indeed as it did for much of the summers of 2007 and 2008, I remember the certainty with which The Guardian reported in 2006 as fact that:

"Scientists know a lot about how events will unfold...which means that whatever we do, our climate destiny is fixed for the next few decades... 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."

Scientists know... climate destiny is fixed... Rainfall will decline in the summer..." It's all rubbish folks; most of these scientists are not predicting based on science, they are designing science to fit the desired predictions.

What about the second part of what "scientists know"? "Rainfall will decline in the summer and the increased deluges in winter will because much of the water will run off the baked ground."

Shall we take a look at reservoir levels in the baked South of England, the area with the biggest water problem? South East Water report the levels at their two largest reservoirs: Arlington Reservoir was 89% full on 16 June (the last day they report levels), Ardingly Reservoir was just under 97% full on the same date.

What about the South West maybe they are faring worse? Well South West Water are somewhat more up to date than South East Water and they report data up until the week ending 19 July, well done South West Water. They report percentage data for their five reservoirs: Roadford, Colliford, Wimbleball, Stithians and Burrator. The figures show that the average storage levels across these five reservoirs was 88.7%. As a comparison it was around 65% in 1995; water shortage getting worse? Does it look as though there are problems replenishing thirsty reservoirs because of the declining rainfall that scientists know about?

How about Severn Trent? They report that for July - "Current water storage levels in the Severn Trent region are at 87.3% of capacity".

I could go on and on but I think that the pattern will be similar across most of the UK regions.

So how about The Environment Agency the body that is so certain about Climate Change that they confidently state on their web site:

"It's an inescapable fact: our planet is warming up. Records show that temperatures around the world have risen steadily since 1900...

Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge facing the world today. We know the Earth's climate does change naturally over a long timescale, but the overwhelming majority of the scientific community now accepts that human activities are causing significant, rapid changes to our climate.

Over the past century, global temperatures have risen - the 10 warmest years on record have all been since 1990. The contribution to global warming from human activity is linked to increases in the amounts of heat-trapping "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere. As the concentrations of greenhouse gases increase, less heat can escape from the atmosphere, making the Earth warmer. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which is released by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

...

What will happen if we do nothing?

The latest data tells us that some climate change is already inevitable, so we will need to adapt to its impacts. We must plan for more extreme weather conditions: wetter winters with an increased risk of floods, and hotter, drier summers that put pressure on water resources. Sea levels will also rise, increasing the risk of flooding around our coastline."
Maybe these are some of the scientists who know what's going to happen to the climate in the UK. After all they also seem to know that we are going to experience "wetter winters with an increased risk of floods, and hotter, drier summers that put pressure on water resources". Let's look at the Environment Agency's own figures...

The Environment Agency publish their Water Situation for England and Wales figures on a monthly basis so the latest report is for June and tells us that:

"At the end of June stocks were normal or higher for the time of year at three quarters of reservoir or reservoir groups. Stocks at six reservoirs were below normal and notably low at one reservoir (Vyrnwy)."
So after years of knowing that reservoirs would not be replenished by winter rains we have a situation, as the rain pours off my roof, where three quarters of UK reservoirs have higher than normal stocks...

Scientists know? I think not.'
Last summer seemed barely drier than 2009 and this summer, well the NotaSheep barbecue has not even been taken out of its cover. I looked at the Environment Agency website and the last entry is from last week:
'Current situation

Last updated - 18 August 2011

Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and west Norfolk remain in drought. Anglian Water and Cambridge Water have said that there is no threat to public water supply as they have enough to last the summer.

August’s weather has been a mixture of sunshine and showers. The forecast for the weekend predicts some rain on Saturday but drier conditions on Sunday for many parts of the country.

Rivers in northern England responded to the heavy rainfall last week and most are above average for the time of year.

Only the River Coln in the Thames Valley and River Don in South Yorkshire are now exceptionally low for the time of year.

In summary current impacts of the drought are:

* we moved 250 brown trout from the River TarrantStour;
* we rescued trout and hundreds of native crayfish from the River Redlake (Shropshire) on 28 July, because the river was drying up;
* boaters on the Grand Union Canal and Oxford Canal face restrictions on movement through certain locks to help conserve water;
* Severn Trent Water confirmed that there will be no restrictions this summer.

Rainfall in July has helped to stabilise water resources but this hasn't been enough to end the drought and the environment and farmers are still affected. Further dry weather will increase pressure on water resources and we may have to apply formal restrictions on farmers who spray irrigate in the drought-affected areas.'
I wonder if the rain over the last few weeks has upset their drought warnings. As with the BBC there seem to be a lot of publicly funded agencies and organisations who have so much credibility, money and time invested in the promotion of the Man Made Global warming hypothesis that they cannot admit that they were wrong.

Let's look at some facts. In the South East the Arlington Reservoir is currently showing:
Water Level Check
Date: 24 August 2011
Time: 00:00:00
Present Capacity (million litres): 2200
Capacity when full (million litres): 3546
62% full in 'high summer'

Ardingly Reservoir is showing:
Water Level Check
Date: 24 August 2011
Time: 00:00:00
Present Capacity (million litres): 3052
Capacity when full (million litres): 4707
65% full in 'high summer'

What about in East Anglia where drought conditions most frequently apply in the UK. Anglian Water report:
'Reservoir levels

The rainfall for July was a little above the long term average for the region. Overall our reservoirs are 82% full, which is below average but within their normal operating range. Groundwater levels are below average for the time of year. Although we do not currently anticipate the need for any restrictions, we ask all our customers to remain ‘Waterwise’, whatever the weather.'
Anglian Water also include some helpful graphs...

So we see that average rainfall has been at roughly long term levels over an annual period. More interesting us the second graph for it shows that in 1996 to 1998 reservoir levels fell close to 60%, this was the height of the Global Warming scare and since then they have been above (or close to) 80% in all but one year. As for drought conditions, I think not.


So there we have it; in 2006 The Guardian reported wit great certainty that:
'Scientists know a lot about how events will unfold...which means that whatever we do, our climate destiny is fixed for the next few decades... 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.'
Facts show that since then the summers have been wetter, droughts have been less common and that clearly they were wrong. Will any of these scientists apologise or even explain their error? Will The Guardian refer back to that 2006 article and explain why they have not retracted the prediction they were happy to allow to be made in 2006?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Name that Internet Browser






Thanks to Art of Trolling via Devil's Kitchen for the spot...

Is it a 'war' in Libya

Summer Patriot, Winter Soldier has his doubts. Read it all but here's an extract:
'it is not war. i do not know what it is, other than slightly absurd & ridiculous upon its face, but it is not war, no matter how hushed and dramatic the tones of the c.n.n. announcers. now, to those who have somehow managed to get themselves killed in this fracas, my opinions on the matter may seem somewhat flippant.

but, the events described above, simply cannot be dignified by any description as somber and respectful as war. this is more like a soccer riot with guns, or what you might have at an obama demonstration when the s.e.i.u., or is that s.i.e.u. finally comes from the closet. but, it is not war.

people in wars get killed on purpose, and by the scientific application of warfare doctrine as learned in the ages. war is not two groups in pickups with machine guns in the back, who cannot hit anyone except by sheer accident at 200 meters. this is like gunfire erupting between two back yard barbecues in miami, arguing over when to put the sauce on the ribs.

maybe, a more apt description would be a gilbert and sullivan operetta, played before a packed house of islamists in the balconies, with guns. and, just every now and again, a bullet does not go through the ceiling.'
Read the whole piece for context. My apologies for the odd usage of English; I don't think the author's shift key works!


Claims of phosphorous in shells fired by Israel = BBC headline news story and condemnation by 'world opinion', Claims of phosphorous in shells fired by Islamists at Israel = shhhhh

Israel National News reports that:
'Sappers who checked the components of one of the mortar shells that landed close to Kibbutz Kerem Shalom discovered that it contained phosphorus, according to a Sunday evening report by Channel 2 television.

The use of the substance in missiles is illegal under international law. Gaza sources often accuse Israel of using weapons containing the banned substance.'
So far nothing on the BBC.

The place of the mosque in 'militant' Islam

'... "Operation Mermaid Dawn" was launched from the Ben Nabi Mosque on Sarim Street near the heart of the city.

"Mermaid" is a long-standing nickname for Tripoli.

The rebels moved just after Iftar, the breaking of the Ramadan fast.

A group of young men began chanting Allahu akbar, God is Great, signifying the start of a new protest at the mosque, witnesses in Tripoli and rebels said. Prayers were cancelled and all women sent home. The men then locked themselves in and began shouting anti-Gaddafi slogans.

They then used the mosque's loud speaker system, normally used to call people to prayer, to broadcast their chants across the city.

As shooting and explosions lit up the Tripoli night, Gaddafi forces arrived and initially opened fire on the mosque with machine guns, also summoning reinforcements armed with anti aircraft guns mounted on pick up trucks. The men inside the mosque were unarmed.

Local residents and rebel fighters then converged on the mosque to defend it, using machine guns and Molotov cocktails in a fierce firefight. The rebel forces were able to drive the Gaddafi forces back forcing them to take refuge in the state TV centre on Al Nasr Street nearby.

...

From the mosque the uprising proceeded to spread in what, from telephone reports, appeared to be a coordinated movement. Opposition members inside the capital reported that as many as thirteen suburbs within the city were actively taking part in the uprising and engaging in firefights with loyalist troops. '

From this Telegraph report on the battle for Tripoli. Time after time Israel are pilloried for defiling mosques when looking for terrorists and yet time after time we read of Islamists using mosques to prepare and launch attacks.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

'However the Israeli army says' and what about the 'truce'?

The BBC are at it again. This piece about the 'truce' between Israel and Hamas (more of that in a moment) contains this line:
'However the Israeli army says one missile was fired by militants from Gaza overnight.'
Could the BBC not check that information or do they prefer to cast doubts on anything the Israelis say?


As for the 'truce', official or unofficial, this is a familiar story:
1) Islamist terrorists attack Israel over an extended period of time - 'world opinion' says nothing

2) Islamist terrorists manage a spectacular attack - the 'world opinion' takes notice but says nothing

3) Israel having not reacted to the long sequence of attacks, finally reacts to the spectacular attack - 'world opinion' waits for Israel to put a foot wrong and then calls the Israeli action disproportionate and excessive and calls for peace between the two sides

4) The Islamists agree to a 'truce' (hudna) with Israel, so Israel has to agree or be even more vilified by 'world opinion'

5) The Islamists sporadically break the 'truce' but these attacks are blamed on dissident groups and Israel is urged not to respond

6) 'World opinion' forgets about the incidents

7) The pattern starts again


What is interesting is not that the Islamists use this tactic; it works. Nor is it that 'world opinion' doesn't recognise the pattern; the 'Israel is always wrong' meme is taken as read. No, what is interesting is that Israel does not learn from the repeating pattern...


One deposed leader embraces another?

not sure which

I am not sure which of these two ex (or soon to be ex) leaders I detest the most. They make a lovely couple don't they, what I would give to have both of them in the stocks and me with a pile of rotting fruit to hand...

Two articles re GOLD that you should read

1) The Globe & Mail ask 'After the gold rush, whither platinum?'


2) The Times of India, my favourite Indian newspaper because of its interesting phraseology, reports that 'India set for record gold imports'


I really cannot see the gold price dropping below $1,800 per oz this year whereas the upside could be $2,000 per oz.

Read his lips...


That's Barack Obama making a promise so you know it will be kept, right?

Not according to Reuters:
'NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit over a suspension problem on more than 400,000 Chevrolet Impalas from the 2007 and 2008 model years, saying it should not be responsible for repairs because the flaw predated its bankruptcy.'

How do you know when a socialist is lying? Their lips are moving.


Thanks to Barnhardt Capital Management via Theo Spark for the spot.

Tuesday morning catchup

The usual story; too many open Firefox tabs and too little time.

1) Honest Reporting have the BBC bang to rights over their recent coverage of Israel 'pounding Gaza'.


2) the Jawa Report have an interesting report on the bile and hatred brewing in the left-wing parts of the Twittersphere.


3) A Digital Spy piece from last December shows Richard bacon to be a bigger tw*t than even I thought:
'Richard Bacon has revealed that Prince Charles caught him laughing during the Queen Mother's funeral.'

4) The Algemeiner has a fascinating article about the beginning of life on Earth and he postulates that Intelligent Design may be the correct theory. Don't dismiss the idea before reading the piece.


5) Alex Masterley is wondering about Peter Mandelson's wealth. Here's how his piece starts:
'So a man who little more than 10 years ago was living in a £250,000 flat, who secured an inheritance of £450,000 and a windfall from some shares of about the same, who has never been paid more than £150,000 in the last 10 years (anything else would have to be registered), on which one would presume tax would be payable and living costs deducted, is some how able to buy an £8 million house.'
The rest is fascinating, absolutely fascinating...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Piers Morgan has to take it and I don't think he was as happy as he pretended to be


'Leaving his guitar behind, J Chris Newberg gets revenge on Piers in this first ever America's Got Talent Roast.'

Well said Mr Newberg, Piers Morgan deserves that and more.


Thanks to Guido Fawkes for the video spot.

Monday morning catchup

The usual story; too many open Firefox tabs and too little time.

1) The LA Times reports that some investors in Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme will not get their money back as:
'This week, a federal appeals court ruled that much of the lost money is irretrievable because it never really existed to begin with. The ruling helps clarify the protection that federal law provides investors against unscrupulous brokers and dealers. In short, they're protected if their accounts are drained surreptitiously, but not necessarily if they're filled fictitiously. It's a tough message for many of Madoff's victims, who were in no position to see through his sophisticated deception. But given that investing in the stock market is by its nature speculative, it's the right one.'


2) John C. Goodman at Town Hall wonders 'Are the por really poor?' Here's an extract:
'To most Americans, the word "poverty" implies significant material deprivation, including inadequate food, clothing and shelter. The actual living conditions of America's poor are very different, however. According to the government's own survey data, in 2005:

• The average household defined as poor lived in a house or apartment equipped with air conditioning and cable TV.

• The family had a car (a third of the poor have two or more cars).

• For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, a DVD player and a VCR.

• If there were children in the home (especially boys), the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

• In the kitchen, the household had a microwave, refrigerator, and an oven and stove.

• Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone and a coffeemaker. '
I wonder if the problem is the use of 'relative poverty' as a measure, a measure that the poverty industry like for obvious reasons.


3) Ales Masterley wonders how good one set of traders are:
'2 years ago BarCap hired a team of gold traders from JP Morgan, offering them £30 million in cash and shares. Now we hear that Todd Edgar and his team of nearly a dozen commodities traders are to leave "as part of a stream of cuts designed to shed overheads and put the UK bank on target to hit profit targets".

Well it's hard to see how anybody lost money while trading in gold for the last 2 years. At JPM Edgar's team turned in a profit of $250 million in one year on a risk limit of $2 billion, an apparent return of 12.5%. Not bad.

But 2 years ago, I could have bought gold at $900/oz, which today would be worth $1800/oz, which would have been a return of 42% compounded for 2 years. Is there really more than $30 million of value addded in the team?'
He has a point!


4) USA Today have some questions about Barack Obama's patriotic photo.


5) World Net Daily have some questions regarding a Barack Obama land deal. They mention the phrase 'tax fraud'.


6) The Scotsman reports that:
'KAYE Adams, the BBC broadcaster, has been accused of being unfit to present a top current affairs programmes after she tweeted that Boris Johnson "should p*** off back to boarding school".

The former presenter of Loose Women, the ITV talk show, who presents a popular Radio Scotland show, was on holiday in Tuscany when she made a series of expletive-filled Tweets about London's mayor. She has now apologised and deleted the comments from her Twitter site'
Of course at the BBC insulting a 'Tory toff' for being 'posh' is probbaly a reason to get a bonus.


7) Great Lakes ForEx have a fascinating piece about the gold market, including a prediction of the gold price moving back to $850. I am not so sure!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The one hundred and forty second weekly "No Shit, Sherlock" award

This week's winners are people described as 'political opponents' of Ken Livingstone for their description of Ken Livingstone, as reported in The Express. The description is that his remarks showed 'Mr Livingstone was a "nasty, divisive character"'

Ken Livingstone nasty and divisive? "No shit, Sherlocks"

Thank you for the votes and links

I would like to thank those people who voted for this blog in the Total Politics poll and especially those who took the time and trouble to tell me that they had done so. I woild also like to thank those of you who sent me your blog recommendations. Of these the one that really caught my eye was Richard Millett's blog which really chimes with me, Richard Millett is also on Twitter, so thanks for the pointer Chaim!

From Michael Jackson to bhangra



From 'Britains Got Talent'

"I'm not a Jew. That is as deep a slur as I can imagine. ..."

Not my words obviously but those of an Arsenal Football Club supporter as reported in The JC as they describe some of the workings of the Arsenal supporters site 'We Are The Herd':
'Anti-racism campaigners have condemned an Arsenal fansite which uses stars of David to denote which members have donated the least to the site.

Members of the Arsenal fan forum We Are The Herd, which has more than 1,000 members, must donate in order to access certain areas of the site. Members who have not donated have Magen Davids placed next to their names whenever they post.

The site contains numerous antisemitic postings, including one member "Binesy," who, referring to the star next to his name, wrote: "I'm not a Jew. That is as deep a slur as I can imagine. ..."

Another fan posted: "The Jews and their accomplices are draining the wealth and expecting the poorer sections of society to repay their thieving."

The site describes itself as the "premier alternative Arsenal website."

A CST spokesman said: "This kind of casual and pervasive antisemitism is quite disgusting. Arsenal fans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, must intervene to stop this kind of nonsense."

An Arsenal spokesman said that although the club was unwilling to tell fans which sites they should and should not visit, it would not endorse racist and antisemitic comments made by fans.

...

No-one from We Are The Herd was available for comment.'

Lovely simply lovely and I am not reassured that The JC later reported that:
'The administrators of an Arsenal fan forum which used stars of David to denote which users had failed to donate to the site have apologised and promised to change the symbol.

The administrators of the site were adamant that the symbol was used because of the nickname for their football rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, is the Yids.'

Casual anti-Semitism is rife in the UK and has been for the whole of my life but over the last 10 years or so it has got worse as the BBC and other left-wing media have stepped up their attacks on, and spreading lies about, Israel.

Away from my normal subject matter - A book recommendation

Now that Mrs NotaSheep has finally finished reading 'One Day' I can blog about this book. I am not a fan of chick-lit and only read 'One Day' on holiday earlier this year because I had finished my books and Mrs NotaSheep was still on book 1. I was surprised to find within a chapter or two that I was transfixed and had started to care about both Dexter and Emma. By half way through the book I was empathising with Emma more than Dexter and rooting for the two of them to finally get together.

SPOILER ALERT

When Emma and Dexter did get together I felt relieved, as if they were old friends who I really cared about. This made the horrible and sudden death of Emma a real shock when I read it and Mrs NotaSheep was distraught when she read that upsetting passage. The ending of the book, showing the early story from the other's point of view was clever and moving. What was most interesting is that both Mrs NotaSheep and I both finished the book and immediately went back and read the first few chapters again.

'One Day' is a really good read, an excellent beach book, and that is why I am worried about going to see the film that opens on Wednesday. I feel that I know Emma and Dexter; what they look like & sound like and I just know that Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess will disappoint me in one or more way! We will certainly go and see the film but I predict we will come away preferring the book to the film

Saturday, 20 August 2011

"I know a man, Obama is his name"


Christina Houston - "Obummer!"


Do you like LUSH products?

Further to my recent piece about Lush and its questionable position re Israel and Saudi Arabia, I had a look around their website and found this campaigning piece. It's entitled 'Challenging anti-foreigner laws   No-one is illegal' and includes such gems as '...immigration controls are inherently unjust and inhumane and that the abolition of immigration controls is not only possible, it's preferable', '...20 years of anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies, which must be challenged, especially with the rise of right-wing and fascist groups who are buoyed up when government ministers also spout anti-immigration rhetoric', ...Borders are constructed and moved, and arbitrary controls are imposed over who can and cannot cross them, all over the world.' and 'We don't think you should need a passport to move around the planet we all share, but since we are asked to present a passport at many borders, we thought we'd make one that gave all the information anyone should need, to confirm that you are indeed a human being, not an alien, or a business corporation, nor a figment of some racist's imagination.'. The bit that caught my eye was this though:
'Most people come to Britain to work and become active members of the community. According to the Home Office, each year immigrants in Britain make a net contribution to the public purse of £2.5 billion. Migrant workers from outside the EU generally can't claim benefits if they become unemployed.'
I have no problem with people coming to this country if they contribute to the life and well-being of this country. That statistic is of course b****ks; rather than a net monetary figure, I would like to know how many people are net payers of taxes and how many are net receivers of benefits. My guess is that the relatively small number of American and French bankers, German IT consultants, Italian management consultants etc. are paying a lot of tax, whilst a much larger number of others are receiving benefits. Am I wrong?

I have not shopped at Lush for some years and don't intend to start now. I will however start educating friends and family about Lush's political position.

Have you noticed photos of what types of students newspapers use to illustrate stories about A-level results?

Sexy A-Levels think that they have spotted a pattern, and it involves sexy young female students! they also have a fascinating insight into this picture...

Meanwhile Biased-BBC have spotted a different approach at the right-on BBC.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Anti-Semites? Anti-Zionists? Who US?

'Anti-Semites? Anti-Zionists? Who US?

By Prof. Steven Plaut

We have nothing against Jews as such. We just hate Zionism and Zionists. We think Israel does not have a right to exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such. Heavens to Mergatroyd. Marx Forbid. We are humanists. Progressives. Peace lovers.

Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism and Israeli policies. The two have nothing to do with one another. Venus and Mars. Night and Day. Trust us.

Sure, we think the only country on the earth that must be annihilated is Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Sure, we think that the only children on earth who are being blown up is ok if it serves a good cause are Jewish children. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Sure we think that if Palestinians have legitimate grievances this entitles them to mass murder Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Naturally, we think that the only people on earth who should never be allowed to exercise the right of self-defense are the Jews. Jews should only resolve the aggression against them through capitulation, never through self-defense. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.
We only denounce racist apartheid in the one country in the Middle East that is NOT a racist apartheid country. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We refuse to acknowledge the Jews as a people, and think they are only a religion. We do not have an answer to how people who do NOT practice the Jewish religion can still be regarded as Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think that all peoples have the right to self-determination, except Jews, and including even the make-pretend Palestinian “people”. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We hate it when people blame the victims, except of course when people blame the Jews for the jihads and terrorist campaigns against them. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think the only country in the Middle East that is a fascist anti-democratic one is the one that has free elections. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We demand that the only country in the Middle East with free speech, free press, or free courts be destroyed. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We oppose military aggression, except when it is directed at Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We really understand suicide bombers who murder bus loads of Jewish children and we insist that their demands be met in full. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think the only conflict on earth that must be solved through dismembering one of the parties to that conflict is the one involving Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think that Jews have any human rights that need to be respected and especially not the right to ride a bus without being murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

There are Jewish leftist anti-Zionists and we consider this proof that anti-Zionists could not possibly be anti-Semitic. Not even the ones who cheer when Jews are mass murdered. These are the only Jews we think need be acknowledged or respected. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think murder proves how righteous and just the cause of the murderer is, except when it comes to murderers of Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think the Jews are entitled to their own state and must submit to being a minority in a Rwanda-style “bi-national state”, although no other state on earth, including the 22 Arab countries, should be similarly expected to be deprived of its sovereignty. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think that Israel’s having a Jewish majority and a star on its flag makes it a racist apartheid state. We do not think any other country having an ethnic-religious majority or having crosses or crescents or “Allah Akbar” on its flag is racist or needs dismemberment. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We condemn the “mistreatment” of women in the only country of the Middle East in which they are not mistreated. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We condemn the “mistreatment” of minorities in the only country in the Middle East in which minorities are NOT brutally suppressed and mass murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We demand equal citizen rights, which is why the only country in the Middle East in need of extermination is the only one in which they exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We have no trouble with the fact that there is no freedom of religion in any Arab countries. But we are mad at hell at Israel for violating religious freedom, and never mind that we are never quite sure where or when it does so. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

So how can you possibly say we are anti-Semites? We are simply anti-Zionists. We seek peace and justice, that’s all. And surely that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.'

What more needs to be said about the attitude of so many of the 'liberal left' to Israel and Jews? Apart from 'Shabbat Shalom' that is...

Should we all boycott LUSH products?

LUSH cosmetics, the stores that smell so sweetly are seemingly not that sweet themselves. I have been reading some rather distressing news about  Lush's Middle East views. The JC informs me that whilst 'Skincare company Lush says concerns about the lack of a "mixed" workforce would prevent it opening a store in Israel... it operates stores in Saudi Arabia.' Lush have also been promoting a pro-Palestinian song on its website.'On the Lush website, under "Our Ethical Campaigns" it says: "The catastrophe facing the Palestinian people is one of the defining global justice issues of our time."' Lush defended their decision to not open a store in Israel with these words:
"But we don't feel it's a safe environment to have a store. Would we want a shop where we couldn't have a mix? We have a multicultural attitude to everything we do; we want everyone in the country where we are trading to be on an equal footing as far as basic human rights go. Some of the team would have to come through checkpoints and be treated differently on their way to work – that would be our worry."
Leaving aside the fact that Israeli checkpoints do not distinguish between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs; how could they, it is not that easy to always tell the two apart, I note that Lush has no problem operating two stores in Saudi Arabia. That's the Saudi Arabia where non-Muslims are not allowed to practice their religion, where the bible is banned and where non-Muslims are banned from Mecca under penalty of death. 

So the 'ethical' Lush are happy trading in the theocratic non-democratic state of Saudi Arabia but not in the pluralistic democracy that is Israel - how very right-on!

Here they go again

Further to the end of this complaint I note that in this Today excerpt the BBC refer to the people who killed seven Israeli civilians as 'attackers'. Oddly in the accompanying audio Mark Regev clearly calls them what they are - 'terrorists'.

I also note that the BBC simply state that the 'attackers...killed seven people'. I wonder if these had been Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers if the BBC might have worded it rather differently bearing in mind the age of some of the dead?

It is interesting to note that Hamas themselves view the dead as 'six Israeli soldiers' killed by 'militants'. This is before the death toll rose.

I then turned to the latest BBC article about the attacks and found no description of the Israeli dead. I am sure that if Palestinian civilians had been killed by Israeli soldiers then the BBC report would include the ages of the dead, their names and details of the grieving relatives. But as these are just Jewish Israelis who have been killed the BBC just don't even pretend to care.


Are A-level students really doing that much better in their exams?

Somehow I doubt it and having seen some recent A-level papers they seem a lot easier than those of the 1980s.


Graph courtesy of Alex Masterley who seems to have done much better in his A-levels than I did. Maybe he took them much later than me!

The Total Politics Poll closes at midnight tonight

Go and vote here and remember this blog!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

"More violent"?

The BBC's report on the latest terrorist attacks on Israel are notable for two reasons. First the BBC actually quote Israelis using the words 'terrorists' albeit in one case with some strategically positioned quotation marks:
'The Israeli military said seven "terrorists" had been "hit"'
Maybe the last part of this complaint of mine has had an affect! The second notable part is the sidebar 'Analysis' by Paul Danahar for BBC News in Jerusalem:
'Whether or not Hamas are to blame for this attack, Israel will hold them responsible and there is likely to be a tough military response in the coming hours.

Hamas run Gaza but there are a number of splinter groups that want to see a more violent response to Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

For Israel to come out so quickly after the attack and say they know it came from Gaza is surprising. If they had had good intelligence of their own about possible attacks in Eilat they would normally have issued a warning to people in the area.
That suggests that perhaps intelligence came from another country like Jordan, but came too late to tackle the gunmen before they carried out the attack.'
I see three interesting comments in that short 'analysis'. First the prediction that Israel will respond in a 'tough' manner; I can sense the BBC readying their 'disproportionate response' headlines even as I write this. Second is that Paul Danhar calls these terrorists 'gunmen' not terrorists; how very decent of him. Thirdly is the way Paul Danhar states that:
'Hamas run Gaza but there are a number of splinter groups that want to see a more violent response to Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories.'
'More violent'? Hamas are pledged to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. Here are some quotations to prove this. First from the Hams Charter:
'The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, 18 August 1988

Preamble

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

...

Peace process

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. (Article 13)'
And now some quotations from leading Hamas figures:
Hamas cleric Ziyad Abu al-Haj's Friday sermon of 3 April 2009:
"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."

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:
"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."
How could these splinter groups be 'more violent' than Hamas? Does Paul Danahar mean that when talking to westerners these groups don't even pretend that they could co-exist with Israel? Does Paul Danahar believe what Hamas tell people in English even when it is at odds with that they say in Arabic?

I would complain to the BBC but I really have had enough.

The BBC respond to my complaint but I am not satisfied

Further to this post I have received a response but it is not a satisfactory one:
'Mr Goat,
Thank you for your e-mail and please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. The first map is not intended to be an accurate geographic or political representation but to show the location of Gaza and where this particular incident happened. Had Egypt been involved in any way in this story, the map would have included Egypt.

The same applies to the second map, which illustrates a story about Israel and Lebanon. This map also does not name Saudi Arabia, which is also not mentioned in the report. In a story about England we might show an appropriate map, but it might not be necessary to name Scotland and Wales if they were not relevant to that particular report.

May we also take the opportunity to address your other complaint concerning this report:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14035536

Firstly, we are not quoting the IDF, but using a comment from "Israeli military sources". Secondly, there is a difference between a direct quote and a paraphrase, and it will always be our decision about which we prefer to use.

Best wishes,
BBC News website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml'

I am not satisfied with the map answer and have sent this response:

'Nota Sheep to NewsOnline
    21:48 

Thank you for your response but I am sorry I do not, as they say, buy it.

The first map shows the borders of Gaza just to the point where Gaza ends. If the map went any further south then it would have to show the border between Israel and Egypt. Contrary to your claim in your email ' the map would have included Egypt' - the map does include Egypt, it is just that you choose not to denote that country. This is important as the BBC do often seem to try to spread the narrative that Israel controls entry to and exit from Gaza when in fact there is a long land border between Gaza and Egypt, the very border that you chose not to show on that map.

Your comparison with the omission of Saudi Arabia from the second map is a red herring as that country is more than one border away from the scene of the story.

Two maps; both not mentioning Egypt, a country that borders Gaza; not that someone relying on the BBC for their facts would see that.


Re the second point, I am not sure you have answered my question. I will remind you of my complaint:
' In the above linked article the BBC says: 'Israel forces 'kill two militants in central Gaza' Israeli military sources said the army had targeted militants who were trying to fire rockets into Israel. ' However the IDF actually said - http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/07/05/israeli-air-force-thwarts-rocket-launching-attempt/ - 'Israeli Air Force Thwarts Rocket Launching Attempt A short while ago, a squad of terrorists preparing to launch rockets at Israeli territory from the central Gaza Strip were identified by an (Israeli Air Force) IAF aircraft that thwarted the attempt by firing at them. A hit was confirmed. ' So the IDF called them 'terrorists' but you quoted them as saying 'militants'. Leaving aside the question of 'what is a terrorist?' or the point that 'one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter', you are the BBC and in you r editorial guidelines the BBC says this: 'As such, we should not change the word "terrorist" when quoting someone else, but we should avoid using it ourselves.' The comment from the IDF was was presented as a quotation and therefore the word 'terrorist' should have been used; is that not correct? This piece seems to be yet another example of the BBC being in breach of BBC Guidelines; what will you do to ensure that this does not happen again?'

You say that 'we are not quoting the IDF, but using a comment from "Israeli military sources".If you are not quoting from the IDF's statement could you let me know which other source you are using as a comment? I am not aware of any other Israeli military source's comments on this incident.

You go on to say that 'Secondly, there is a difference between a direct quote and a paraphrase, and it will always be our decision about which we prefer to use.' Indeed there is a difference but between a 'direct quote' and a 'paraphrase' but I am interested as to why you chose to paraphrase the IDF's statement rather than quote it direct. Once again I remind you of the BBC's own editorial guidelines 'As such, we should not change the word "terrorist" when quoting someone else, but we should avoid using it ourselves.'

I await your response and you addressing these points.

Regards

NotaSheep MaybeaGoat


PS: I am not Mr Goat, I am Mr MaybeaGoat'

Let us see how the BBC respond to this. Something tells me that this complaint will end up with the Head of Editorial Standards just like this one. I wonder how they will react to the BBC disregarding one of the BBC's own editorial guidelines...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What an odd choice of wording

All day the BBC have been in full attack mode at the severity of the sentencing of the rioters. This article entitled 'England riots: What is the impact of a criminal record?' begins:
'As the courts deal with some of the hundreds of people charged in connection with the riots, igniting a row over whether the sentences being handed out are too harsh, the BBC asks what is the real cost of a criminal conviction?'
But it is the next line that caught my eye:
'When college student Nicolas Robinson set foot in a Lidl supermarket as he walked home from his girlfriend's house, he probably didn't think his actions would land him behind bars.

But stealing a £3.50 case of bottled water during the riots in Brixton has cost the 23-year-old dearly.

Robinson, of Borough, south-east London, is now serving six months in jail.'
'set foot'? Is it just me or does that wording make it seem as though Nicolas Robinson just wandered in to the Lidl supermarket not realising it was being looted. Why are the BBC so keen on minimising the actions of many of the looters?

Chasing the BBC for a response to a very fair complaint

Further to this post, this post and this post, I noticed that I had yet to receive a reply form the BBC re this very simple query.

Here's a reminder of my problem with the BBC:
'In the BBC article headlined 'Israel forces 'kill two militants in central Gaza'', the BBC include this map


This map makes it seem as though Israel is both enormous and surrounds Gaza thus explaining how Israel has been able to blockade it for some years now. There is of course a problem with this - Israel does not surround Gaza. The country that borders Gaza to the South East is Egypt not Israel, that is where the Rafah Crossing is...


So why have the BBC omitted the word Egypt from that first map? If the BBC come back and say it was an unfortunate accident due to the scale of the map I will not believe them...'

'Today I notice in this article the same omission.

Why do the BBC not like to show the fact that Egypt borders Gaza on their maps of the Middle East? Are they trying to further their narrative of a bullying Israel dominating the immediate area, even though that is at variance with the facts. Here's a map of the Arab World showing how large Israel really is...


Here's my chasing complaint:
'Complaint type: BBC News
Location: England
What is your complaint about: BBC News Online
Address of the page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14035536
Complaint category: Factual Error or Inaccuracy
Complaint summary: Deliberate misdirection of readers of article
Full complaint: On 6 July I complained about the deliberate misdirection of readers of the above article. 'In the BBC article headlined 'Israel forces 'kill two militants in central Gaza'', the BBC include a map. This map makes it seem as though Israel is both enormous and surrounds Gaza thus explaining how Israel has been able to blockade it for some years now. There is of course a problem with this: Israel does not surround Gaza. The country that borders Gaza to the South East is Egypt not Israel, that is where the Rafah Crossing is... So why have the BBC omitted the word Egypt from that first map?' A day later you published another map in this article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14051618 - and yet again the map missed off any reference to Egypt. I can see no excuse for this deliberately misleading of the public. I can also not see why I have yet to receive a response to my original complaint.
Receive a reply: Yes
Contacted us before: Yes
Complaint related to previous contact: Yes
Reason for contacting again: Haven't received a response yet
Title: Mr
First name: NotaSheep
Surname: MaybeaGoat
Email address: notasheepmaybeagoat@gmail.com
Under 13: No'

Let's see if the BBC manage to get a reply to me.

Something worth a mention missing from this Guardian report?

The Guardian, that bastion of liberal free-speech and doughty defender of human rights, reports that:
'Explosives detectors to be installed at gates of Mecca's Holy Mosque'
and gives all sort of big numbers relating to Mecca and the Hajj. Somehow they neglect to mention that only Muslims are allowed into Mecca and any infidels caught there are liable to be killed. Only a small detail but one that I thought was worth a mention.

The Guardian could have then contrasted the attitude of the Islamic government of Saudi Arabia to non-Muslims entering their holiest site with that of Israel who don't allow Jews to worship on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest site, in case it upsets the Muslims who built a mosque on top of the last Jerusalem Temple.

I suppose reporting such facts would ruin the Guardian/BBC/Muslim narrative of educated, civilised Muslims facing an evil Jewish state.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Imagine if this was Israel shelling a Palestinian refugee camp

The BBC report very quietly that:
'Thousands of Palestinian refugees have been forced to flee a camp in the Syrian port of Latakia amid shelling by government troops, the UN says.

A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works agency (Unrwa) told the BBC that more than 5,000 of the 10,000 refugees were on the move.

He said at least four people had died, urging immediate access to the site.

Some 30 people have reportedly died in Latakia in a three-day military attack. Syria says it is tackling gangs.'
This is a very low-profile story on the BBC website and I haven't noticed it being reported on the BBC Radio 4 news at all.

Now imagine the coverage if Israel had shelled a Palestinian refugee camp. This attack would be headline news on all BBC news outlets, there would be banner headlines on the BBC news website and Jeremy AlBowen would be pontificating in full indignant mood. Are the lives of Palestinian refugees in Syria less important than that of Palestinian refugees in Gaza? Or is it just that Israel is fair game whereas whatever Syria does has to be seen against the backdrop of its implacable opposition to Israel?

Of course there is another possibility and that is that the BBC's carefully constructed narrative is that Israel keeps the poor Palestinians in the 'concentration  camps' that are Gaza and the West Bank. If the British public realised that the Syrians and Lebanese keep their Palestinians in camps with less freedom than the Palestinians enjoy in Gaza and the West Bank then the narrative might suffer. The truth is that the Arab countries implemented special laws designed to make it impossible to integrate the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Arab war against Israel. No descendant of Palestinian refugees who are born in another Arab country and live there their entire lives can ever gain that country's passport. Even if a 'Palestinian' marries a citizen of an Arab country, they cannot become citizens of their spouse's country. Once a Palestinian, always a Palestinian even if they have never set foot in 'Palestine'. This policy of forcing a Palestinian identity on these people for eternity and condemning them to a miserable life in refugee camps was designed to perpetuate and exacerbate the Palestinian refugee crisis. For more on this aspect of the Palestinian problem take a read of this Real Clear World article.

The answer to every EU problem is 'ever closer union'

The BBC's report on the Franco German conference includes some key lines:
'The French and German leaders have called for "true economic governance" for the eurozone in response to the euro debt crisis.
Speaking at a joint news conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged much closer economic and fiscal policy in the eurozone.

Ms Merkel said that further integration would be a "step-by-step" process.

They also advocated a tax on financial transactions to raise more revenues.'
That's the EU in a nutshell: the answer to every problem is 'ever closer union' and EU-wide taxation. 

The BBC respond (part 2)

Further to this and this I have received a conciliatory email:
'NewsOnline Complaints to me 15:48 (20 hours ago)

Dear anonymous correspondent.

I'm prepared to concede that the shorthand used in a headline doesn't outline the full detail.

In retrospect, we ought to have been more clear about the addition of longer term (up to 12 months liquidity) assets.

However, it is necessary to make some simplifications in these cases in the interests of understandability, otherwise every business news story could be dissolved into the splitting of hairs.

You could even argue about the use of the word 'cash' - as it is likely Apple has its money in the bank, as opposed to in piles of folding notes.

Similarly, the US government technically owns huge amounts of cash - currency in circulation.

At the other end of the equation - it is probably not very useful to the reader to make reference to assets such as Amtrak which are not easily liquidated and whose value is undetermined.

Please rest assured, your comments have been taken onboard, seriously. I will certainly be considering your points when next approaching an article of this nature.

Regards

Iain Mackenzie'
I could carry on 'splitting hairs' but I will settle for monitoring the accuracy of future business news.

To be fair to the police

I have been criticised for some of my comments about the police giving up during last week's riots and also for showing some videos of police brutality on the streets. As I have said before such brutality did not cause the riots, greed and a lack of respect for society or fear of the consequences were more important.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that shows some of what was happening on one night last week and I find it upsetting but not surprising that so many of 'da yout' are so willing to destroy, rob and burn property.

<iframe width="400" height="257" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ed0QJJL9sYQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>iframe>

'Uploaded by on 9 Aug 2011
Here are some of the most disturbing scenes to come out of the London Riots. This video gives a true representations of what emergency services, businesses and communities had to face during the London Riots of August 2011.

After filming this footage, I spent time at the Westminster Magistrates Court, to see the followup process of what has happened here. Of coarse this could not be filmed however I have tweeted an article regarding this experience http://t.co/71oE2BK - Please read this!

Please remember to comment below to share your views! Thank you to those people who have done so already. Also, if you like my video, then please subscribe as I have more footage to come and will be making similar videos of current events in the future.

If you know anyone who is throwing debris at police or looting retail outlets on this video, then please do the right thing and contact Crime Stoppers: www.crimestoppers-uk.org/ or call 0800 555 111.

Please note this is a personal video with no affiliations to any business or organisation.'
Please bear in mind that now the genie is out of the bottle and people know that for one night they can probably get away with this sort of action, they may be tempted to try it again... Who knows when they will try it but I am willing to bet more incidents before the end of the year?