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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

For tax return day

In the UK today is the tax returns are due to be submitted to HMRC, albeit there is a two day extension thanks to the taxman striking. If you're going to be up late working on your figures, here's some appropriate music...


Beatles - 'Taxman'
"Be thankful I don't take it all"
Do I really need to remind you of the rest of the lyrics?



Gentleman's Dub Club - 'Emergency'
"This is an emergency.. Taxman taking"


So get your return in and pay the tax, even if you do so behind gritted teeth!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Anjem Choudary tweets again


Anjem Choudary launched a new campaign today - Shariah4hind and apart from a welcome use of the word 'verily' it was rather a sad affair. Apart from claiming that Islam was the 'oldest religion on the earth' a claim that is demonstrably wrong and a claim that I did tweet a couple of replies to but I think Anjem Choudary may have blocked me; Anjem Choudary seems a tad reluctant to listen to the truth. It is odd that he doesn't block those who tweet insults and Islamophobic venom but does block someone who tweets logic and the truth.

So Anjem Choudary care to take back your original tweet?

I also tweeted this...
and it something that I have mentioned before on this blog. India was partitioned and the part that was made into Pakistan is now almost 100% Islamic whilst India is a pluralistic democracy. The parallels between India and Israel just become more obvious by the day.

Our 'friends' in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan

Those 'Partners in Peace' again



Palwatch report how Palestinian Authority television view the murders of the Fogel family.

Transcript:
PA TV host: "We have a call from the family of prisoner Hakim Awad."
Mother of Hakim Awad: "I thank you for connecting me with my son, because I and all of the family are prevented for security reasons [from visiting him].
Host: "Go ahead, sister, we can convey your voice."
Mother of Hakim Awad: "My greetings to dear Hakim, the apple of my eye, from the village of Awarta, 17 years old, who carried out the operation in Itamar (i.e., killing of 5 Fogel family members), sentenced to 5 life sentences and another 5 years, in prison."
Aunt of Hakim Awad: "I'm the sister of prisoner Hassan Awad and of Salah Awad; [I am] Um Habib, from the village of Awarta. My warm greetings to all the great heroic prisoners, to my brother Hassan Awad, head of the village council; to my brother Salah Awad, the heroic prisoner journalist; to the heroic, resolute prisoner, the lion, Yazid Awad, my nephew; and to my nephew Hakim Awad, the hero, the legend."
Host: "We [PA TV], for our part, also convey our greetings to them."
Aunt of Hakim Awad: "I dedicate this song to Hassan Awad, Yazid Awad, Hakim Awad, and Salah Awad, in prison:
'My brother, in solitary confinement, your voice calls to me
You dare not throw down the rifle
That is what the homeland asked of me
In your eyes, we are all self-sacrificing fighters.
I convey greetings to the sound of the bullets of Ahmad Sa'adat and Hakim Awad.'"
Host: "Thank you for being with us, the family of prisoners Hassan and Salah Awad of Awarta."
[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 19 and 21, 2012]

Note: On March 11, 2011, five members of the Fogel family were killed in their home in the Israeli town Itamar by Palestinian terrorists from the Awad family. Hakim Awad led the attack, killing the parents Ehud and Ruth and three of their children, aged 11 years, 4 years, and 2 months.
Ahmad Sa'adat, mentioned in the song recited by Hakim Awad's aunt, is serving a 30-year sentence for heading the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror organization. He is also suspected of having planned the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Ze'evi, in 2001, but was not tried.


This is coverage on the PA television station, the supposedly 'moderate' voice of Palestinians. Glorifying the murderers of an innocent Jewish family as 'heroic'. Partners in Peace? I think not.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Jews in the Netherlands catch-up

I found a few tabs that I have had open for some time and they all related to Jews in the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, and since Amsterdam used to be one of my and Mrs NotaSheep's favourite European cities I thought I'd post them all here...

Anti-Semitism is normal in Amsterdam:
'The NRC daily has published an article on anti-Semitism in Amsterdam which states that it has become the norm rather than incidental. There are six neighborhoods in Amsterdam where Jews cannot wear a skullcap or clothes which identify them as such for fear of attack. A rabbi who lives in one of the better neighborhoods says that he goes out on the streets as little as possible because he almost always is insulted by Moroccans who shout at him: “Hitler apparently forgot one”. The rabbi says that many Jews have similar experiences in Amsterdam. The monitor of discrimination on the internet found that half of the 577 punishable internet statements in 2009 were against Jews. The article also said that if the monitor would have looked carefully at sites for Moroccans in the Netherlands, they could have easily added another 1,000 punishable anti-Semitic internet statements.'
Fake Jews to fight anti-Semitism in Amsterdam:
'Amsterdam’s interim mayor Lodewijk Asscher says he will investigate the possibility of using undercover agents posing as Jews in order to combat anti-semitism.

A spokesman said the mayor is open to unorthodox methods to end to the upsurge of violence against Jews in Amsterdam. Mr Asscher was responding to a suggestion from Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch, himself of Moroccan parentage.

Hitler

A TV programme broadcast on Sunday by the Jewish Broadcasting Organisation showed rabbi Lody van de Kamp confronted by Moroccan youths giving the Hitler salute. The footage was recorded with a hidden camera. The rabbi and two school children went to various neighbourhoods in Amsterdam last week and were confronted not only by Hitler salutes but also by verbal abuse.

An earlier radio broadcast by the Jewish Broadcasting Organisation showed that the situation is equally serious in some other parts of the Netherlands, including the city of Rotterdam.

Skull-caps

Ronny Naftaniel, the head of anti-semitism watchdog the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel, says, “it has become common for Jews to hide their skull-caps on the street.” The CIDI supports Ahmed Marcouch’s initiative.

In a radio interview the Labour MP said: “I say send fake Jews to arrest the attackers. Everything must be done to keep this phenomenon from growing. It seems like small incidents, but this is serious.”'

Prominent Jews leave Amsterdam because of anti-Semitism:
'A son of a prominent rabbi in the Netherlands has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism. Benzion Evers, son of well-known Dutch rabbi Raphael Evers, told De Telegraaf that he feels “suffocated and caged” in his home country due to anti-Jewish sentiment.

“I'm fed up with the verbal abuse and the streetfighting,” he told Het Parool, another Dutch paper.

“It's not that you can't leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful,” he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants.

While anti-Semitism is not uncommon among Muslim immigrants, particularly those from Morocco and Turkey, there is a second kind of anti-Semitism that is common in the Netherlands as well, Evers said, an educated anti-Semitism that is disguised as anti-Zionism.

Five of the Evers' family children have already left the Netherlands, he added, and his father plans to move as well after retirement. More than half of orthodox Jews end up leaving the country, he stated.

Just days earlier, Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein stated that religious Jews have no future in the Netherlands due to anti-Semitism. They should “emigrate to the U.S. or Israel,” he said. His comments were published in the book “The Decay: Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands” by Manfred Gerstenfeld.

The main cause of increasing hostility to Jews is “anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing,” Bolkestein stated. He expressed doubt that the government is capable of fighting anti-Semitism and protecting its Jewish citizens.

His controversial remarks were met with an uproar. The Dutch Parliament held a special session to discuss the issue.

Earlier in the year Dutch Chief Rabbi Benjamin Jacobs spoke to Arutz Sheva and expressed concern over Dutch anti-Semitism, which he said is becoming prevalent. He said that many Dutch citizens are upset by anti-Semitism, but concluded, “As the situation is today, the future for Dutch Jewry is moving to Israel.” '

Some more scary statistics:
'A national police report in September found a 48 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents to 209 in 2009. The same report found that anti-Moroccan incidents rose 17 percent to 103.

After a wave of immigration in the 1990s Muslims make up around 1 million of the country's 16 million population. After being decimated during World War II, the Dutch Jewish population is estimated at 40,000-50,000.

Rising anti-Semitism "can be attributed to the rise of influence of Islam in the Netherlands," said Freedom party member of parliament Joram van Klaveren during the debate. "The more Islam, the more anti-Semitism."'

Is it just me or is there a more fun alternative?

"This easy-to-use beauty and skincare product was developed by an ordinary housewife. Chikako Hirama was simply concerned about her own age and wanted an easy way to combat those telltale lines. Just try the yellow or pink Pupeko daily using such techniques as puffing out your cheeks or sucking them in while breathing through the mouthpiece. Then you can try it while keeping your head upright to give your neck and other muscles further exercise training."

Is it just me or is there a more fun alternative to this Pupeko?


Thanks to Boing Boing for the spot.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Compare & Contrast: The Faces 1971 v The Faces 2011, Rod Stewart v Mick Hucknall


Rod Stewart and The Faces rocking out in 1971 on Stay With Me.


The Faces with Mick Hucknall at the 2011 reunion also with Stay With Me.

Your preference?

Friday, 27 January 2012

More Jenny Agutter - Definitely NSFW

My recent post about Jenny Agutter has been quite popular, and I can quite see why, so when I saw Logan's Run was on TV earlier this week it prompted me to find some more Jenny Agutter stills for your delectation.
First the rather revealing 'on circuit' dress

Then some stills from the ice palace scene, it is odd how Jenny has to undress because it's cold and her clothes are wet, only to put on a very skimpy fleece and anyway then put her damp clothes back on a few minutes later, but who's complaining?

Finally a still from Jenny Agutter's appearance in Equus
Sorry about Peter Firth's buttocks!

Maybe more Jenny Agutter in a month or so...

A voters' guide to Republicans


Some facts about the Republicans in the USA that I think more people should know. The BBC especially should watch this this video over and over again until they get it.

Once again a Western establishment just cannot face facts

Last year Yonathan Melaku drove through Washington DC shooting at other cars and buildings, thankfully n. obody was killed. The Washington Post reports that:
'It was all part of a solitary campaign of “fear and terror,” federal prosecutors said. But authorities and Melaku’s defense attorney said no one knows for sure what led Melaku — a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethi­o­pia, local high school graduate and former Marine Corps Reservist — down that path or what message he was trying to send.

...

Gregory English, Melaku’s defense lawyer, said after the hearing that Melaku’s family is of the Coptic Christian faith and that they were stunned to learn of his involvement in the crimes and the references to Islamic jihad. English said the shootings were out of character for Melaku, and he wonders whether his client suffers from a psychological problem, which he has asked the court to evaluate.

English said Melaku thought that by shooting at the buildings he did, late at night, no one would get hurt. English said the video was intended for YouTube.

“As bad as it is, this is someone who essentially broke windows,” English said. “It’s vandalism. He has no link to terrorism. . . . He had a message, but I don’t understand what that message was supposed to be.”'
UYes his motives are utterly inexplicable; unless you watch the self shot video taken the night he went shooting...

As the Washington Post reports 'A video found after Melaku’s arrest showed him wearing a black mask and shooting a 9mm handgun out of his Acura’s passenger window as he drove along Interstate 95, shouting “Allahu Akbar!”'

Shouting "Allahu Akbar" as he shoots out of his car window; no I cannot see a motive there either... Here are some more examples of places where the cry of "Allahu Akbar" has been inexplicably heard: here, here, here and here .

A slip-fielder in the making?


One of the ball boys makes an amazing catch during the Federer Nadal Semifinal match at the Australian Open.

Barack Obama's free ride from the US media

As I blogged during the last US Presidential elections, the US media (an indeed other countries media) were singularly uninterested in Barack Obama's back history and just didn't ask of him the questions that they demanded answers to of Republican candidates. This year the story is the same so I was intrigued to read this article that lists '15 Questions The Mainstream Media Would Ask Barack Obama If He Were A Republican'. Here's a few, do go and read them all:
'In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?

...

Unions invested a lot of time and money in helping to get you elected. In return, they gained majority control of Chrysler, the taxpayers lost 14 billion dollars on General Motors, and General Motors received a special 45 billion dollar tax break. What do you say to people who view this as corruption on a scale never before seen in American history?

...

Occupy Wall Street has been protesting against Wall Street and the richest 1 percent in America. You are in the top 1 percent of income earners in America and you have collected more cash from Wall Street than any other President in history. So, aren’t you exactly the sort of politician that Occupy Wall Street wants to get rid of?'

Barack Obama, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt and Israel

Two pieces have caught my eye this week, neither by themselves would have been worth a blogpost but the combination of the two is interesting.

First Reuters reported that:

'U.S. President Barack Obama plans to accelerate the pace of American aid to Egypt, a top State Department official said on Wednesday, as the most populous Arab nation reaches a critical stage in its uncertain transition away from autocratic rule.

Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats, part of a U.S. delegation that held unprecedented talks last week with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, said Washington wanted to provide "more immediate benefits" to Egyptians, who earlier this month conducted their first democratic elections in decades.

"During this period, we want to be as supportive as we can. This is an historic moment. Egypt's a country of enormous importance," Hormats said.'
Second I read in The Egypt Independentthat:
'The Muslim Brotherhood will not speak or meet with Israeli officials and its stance on Israel is not up for discussion, group spokesperson Mahmoud Ghezlan told London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. '
So the coming to power in Egypt of a group that won't meet or speak with Israeli officials is a cue for Barack Obama's administration to accelerate the pace of American aid; interesting...

Two remarks that speak volumes

Two remarks in this Independent article about the Ugandan born Church of England vicar, The Rev Canon Dr John Magumba struck me. The first was that:
'The 58-year-old even told local church-goers that African worshippers did not feel comfortable around so many white parishioners so he set up separate "African services".'
Can you imagine the treatment that a white vicar would get from the Church and the media if he said that "Caucasian worshippers did not feel comfortable around so many black parishioners so he had set up separate 'Caucasian services'"? The double standard is almost beyond comprehension.

The second remark was this:
'Magumba later admitted to police Nigerians "would do anything in their power to come to the UK" and were "crying out" for marriage certificates, the court heard.'
Now why were these Nigerians so desperate to come to the UK? Maybe the next two lines provide an explanation:
'Non-EU citizens who marry EU citizens cannot be deported.

Nigerian men who married Polish, Slovak or Czech women - citizens of the EU - would then have the right to live, work and claim benefits in the UK.'
Can anyone out there defend John Magumba's actions and those of the last Labour government that have helped to get us to this position?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Question Time tonight 26 January 2012 features David '13 points' Lammy

Labour MP, and former minister, David Lammy is on BBC's Question Time tonight. I wonder if David Dimbleby would remind us of David Lammy's most famous TV performance, I am sure he would were David Lammy a Conservative politician...


13 points on Mastermind

The incredible general knowledge round starts at 4:22, or 5:16 if you'd rather miss John Humphry's adoring chat.
Q1: So easy - he got it wrong
Q2: Didn't know but would guess Jamaica
Q3: So easy
Q4: So easy - he got it wrong
Q5: Tricky
Q6: So easy - he got it wrong
Q7: So easy - he passed
Q8: Easy
Q9: So easy - he passed
Q10: Easy
Q11: So easy - he got it wrong
Q12: Easy
Q13: So easy - he passed
Q14: Easy
Q15: Henry VII succeeded Henry VIII, that's unlikely!
Q16: Tricky
Q17: So easy - he got it wrong

Best radio trailer at the moment


Talksport's trailer for the Alan Brazil Breakfast show; a fine parody of Rod Stewart's Maggie May.


And here's the original...

The first sone about a MILF?

The difference between being an existing customer and a potential new customer


So prospective customers get a Freephone number but existing customers have to pay to speak with their bank. Great customer service Britannia.

Because on the BBC Israel is only bad

BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent this morning had a piece from Amman (capital of Jordan)  explaining why so many Libyans were there. Apparently it was because 'Jordan is widely regarded as having the best hospitals in the Middle East'.
Jordan not Israel? Really?

The useful idiots of the past and who are the useful idiots of today; Tony Benn?

A few weeks ago I heard a very interesting radio programme on BBC Radio 4 about the useful idiots who propagandised on behalf of Communist Russia in order to protect the name of Communism:
'refers to Western journalists, travellers and intellectuals who gave their blessing – often with evangelistic fervour – to tyrannies and tyrants, thereby convincing politicians and public that utopias rather than Belsens thrived.'
It is a story that I know well but one that does deserve repetition because I don't think that many people do know  how so many on the left of western politics covered up the evil of communist Russia, and indeed China as well.

What struck me when listening to the programme was how those who criticised Russia were the ones that were disbelieved and whose careers suffered at the time whilst those that supported the evil regimes were rewarded:
'In 1952 Doris Lessing, a British writer who has since won the Nobel Prize for Literature, was part of a delegation visiting the Soviet Union.
Her memories of the trip are clear and unforgiving:
“I was taken around and shown things as a ‘useful idiot’... that’s what my role was. I can’t understand why I was so gullible.”
She was not the only one. The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and American journalist Walter Duranty were some of those people who also visited the Soviet Union.
They mingled with political leaders, were escorted into the countryside by Joseph Stalin’s secret police, and returned home to speak and write of ‘a land of hope’ with ‘evils retreating before the spread of communism’.
However as stories mounted of mass murder and starvation in parts of Russia and the Ukraine, reporters such as Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge investigated and reported on ‘the creation of one enormous Belsen’.
Duranty responded with an article in the New York Times headed ‘Story of the famine is bunk’, and got an exclusive interview with Stalin.
Soon after, Jones died and Muggeridge’s career nose-dived. Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer.'
I didn't hear the second part but was struck by the BBC's own summary:
'The journalist and historian Jonathan Mirsky, who has written extensively on China, describes former leader Chairman Mao as:
“He had an enormous impact on China – but he was a monster… and…responsible for the deaths of 40 million people.”
But the veteran British politician Tony Benn argues that Mao played a significant role in building China's global importance and economic power - and that his actions - both good and bad - must be seen in historical context.
From Mao’s China, General Pinochet’s Chile, Apartheid-controlled South Africa, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, to President Ahmadinejad’s Iran, why – and how – have so many supposedly intelligent people been manipulated by dictators into saying good things about bad regimes?'
'Historical context'? 'HISTORICAL CONTEXT'! Mao's regime killed around 50 million people but the BBC's hero Tony Benn thinks Mao's actions must be seen in 'historical context'. Maybe someone could ask Tony Benn what 'historical  context' justified the killing of 50 million people in communist China? Does Tony Benn also think that the millions of deaths ordered by Lenin and Stalin and the suffering in the gulags has to be seen in 'historical context'? What about the seven million Jews killed by Hitler's Nazis in Germany; do they have to be seen in historical context'? At this point Tony Benn would no doubt lean back and suck on a metaphorical pipe and tell you that he fought against Nazism during the second world war. Indeed you did Mr Benn, indeed you did but you still say that the deaths of millions more people needs to be seen in 'historical context'!

I wonder who the useful idiots of today are? Those who believed that the 'Arab Spring' would end other than with Islamist regimes perhaps.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Resolution Foundation

I don't normally do this but Craig (ex Beeb Bias Craig) has posted some fascinating points  in the comments of a Biased BBC article and I think that they are a fine example of how the BBC/Labour coalition manufacture 'news' and set the agenda from a firm left of centre position.So here is his analysis, with all due thanks to Biased-BBC. and Craig.

'So 'Newsnight' mentions a report from the Resolution Foundation think tank about the plight of 'The Squeezed Middle', the Ed Miliband phrase used by reporter David Grossman.

The guy who appeared from the Resolution Foundation was Gavin Kelly. What Grossman didn't mention is that he was Gordon Brown's Deputy Chief of Staff as prime minister, having previously worked in Tony Blair's Policy Unit.

That Resolution Foundation is the sort of think tank the BBC likes to call "independent". How 'independent' is it?

Digging a bit more into that Resolution Foundation think tank, which 'Newsnight' was touting last night without letting on that their expert 'talking head' was a former advisor to Gordon Brown and that the BBC News website repeatedly presents as 'independent', reveals that they receive a fair amount of coverage from the BBC.

Looking back, when Miliband began his 'squeezed middle' campaign in November 2010, the BBC quoted a report by "the Resolution Foundation think-tank", as if it were co-incidental.

When Miliband made a speech attacking Tory cuts in February 2011 he was reported by the BBC as addressing "the Resolution Foundation, a think tank". By a remarkable co-incidence, Today interviewed someone from "The Resolution Foundation" on that very day on the very subject of Miliband's speech, and so did 5 Live .

Cameron's cuts threaten welfare reform, warned the Resolution Foundation, "a think tank", back in May 2011. Labour's Stephen Timms was on hand to agree with them. 

"The Resolution Foundation says wage inequality is getting worse" on 5Live in October 2011.

Cuts in tax credits are under attack from "an organisation" called The Resolution Foundation last November. 

In December 2011, Radio 5 Live has on someone from the "research group, the Resolution Foundation" to talk about living standards. 6 days later the same guy was back on 5 Live calling for regulation of letting agents, this time representing a "group, which represents people on low to middle incomes". The same theme was brought up on the same day's You and Yourswhere the organisation was just given its name.

They've had lots of coverage this year, first in an article on inequality which calls them "a new independent think tank", then getting publicity for their latest report on personal spending where they are called a "think tank" and "the independent think tank, the Resolution Foundation".

The only programme that comes a little bit clean is The Week in Westminster, back in April 2011, where "Gavin Kelly of the think tank the Resolution Foundation" is described as "formerly an adviser to Gordon Brown".

How 'independent' are they? Who are 'the team' behind the independent Resolution Foundation think tank?

Well, there's chief executive Gavin Kelly, former advisor to prime minister Gordon Brown, for starters. 

Then there's Vidhya Alakeson, research and strategy director, who has worked for several left-leaning think tanks (some with links to Labour, such as Policy Network and the Social Market Foundation) and, like Mr Kelly. also worked in the prime minister's policy unit under Labour. 

There's also James Plunkett, Secretary to the Commission on Living Standards, who has written for the Guardian attacking Michael Gove's education policies as "tired old Tory ideology" and elsewhere attacking the "malevolence" of "the Nasty Party". He worked in Gordon Brown's strategy unit from 2008-09.

Then there's senior economist Matthew Whittaker, who also serves as a "wise man" on the Labour-aligned IPPR's New Era Economics panel.

Also Felicity Dennistoun, external affair assistant, who was a parliamentary assistant to Labour's Emily Thornberry, andJoe Coward, research and communications assistant, who came from the centre-left Demos think tank.

Guido got the main piece of the jigsaw quite some time back. The man who founded the Resolution Foundation, insurance tycoon Clive Cowdery, is a Labour Party donor.

The Resolution Foundation looks set to join the IPPR and Demos as a favoured think tank of the BBC. Given the links so many of its key figures have to the last Labour government and their ties to other left-of-centre think tanks, would it be too much to ask BBC presenters/reporters to say things like, "A report today from the left-leaning think tank, the Resolution Foundation, found that...." or "Former advisor to Gordon Brown, Gavin Kelly/James Plunkett of the Resolution Foundation, said...."?'

Can you think of any excuse for the above deceit by the BBC; I cannot.

Jimy Carter - again

Jimmy Carter, former US President and current disgrace to humanity, appeared on Piers Morgan's CNN Tonight show last week. The whole interview was full of inaccuracies, you can see the whole transcript here, but the one that I want to concentrate on is this:
'When I first went to Israel, about 15 percent of the Palestinians were Christians and they were my friends and they were my soul mates in the worship of the same god in the same way. Now they've almost been removed from Palestine because of some pressures and encouragement from the Israelis.'
So Jimmy Carter blames Israel for the reduction in the percentage of Palestinians that are Christian. Jimmy Carter blames Israel, now that's hardly news, the man persistently attacks Israel for one thing or another, but he blames Israel for the diminishing percentage of Christians amongst the Palestinians. First of all Israel does not run the Palestinian Territories, if it did there would be less rocket attacks launched against Israeli civilians from Gaza. Second the real reason for the diminishing number of Christians in the Palestinian Territories is that Islamists have been seizing land from Christians, demanding jiyza (protection money) from them and assaulting those who choose to stay behind in their Holy Land. It should also be notes that the Christian population of multi-faith Israel is increasing not diminishing.


Jimmy 'Dhimmi' Carter gets away with making statements like the above because he was US President, why does nobody ask Jimmy carter about the money he has received from Islamists and whether that money has any bearing on the opinions he spouts so freely?

'What money, I don't know anything about Jimmy Carter receiving money from Muslim countries and organisations? ' I hear you ask. Well take a read of this article by Alan Dershowitz from 2007, here's a few extracts:
'Recent disclosures of Carter's extensive financial connections  to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, had deeply shaken my belief in his integrity. When I was first told that he received a  monetary reward in the name of Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, and kept the money, even after Harvard returned money from the same source because of its anti-Semitic history, I simply did not believe it. How  could a man of such apparent integrity enrich himself with dirty money  from so dirty a source?

And let there be no mistake about how dirty the Zayed Foundation is. I know because I was involved, in a small way, in helping to persuade Harvard University to return more than $2 million that the financially strapped Divinity School received from this source.  Initially, I was reluctant to put pressure on Harvard to turn back money  for the Divinity School, but then a student at the Divinity School, Rachael Lea Fish
showed me the facts.  
They were staggering. I was amazed that in the twenty-first  century there were still foundations that espoused these views. The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, a think-tank funded by the Shiekh and run by his son, hosted speakers who called Jews "the enemies of all nations," attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States' own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a "fable." (They also hosted a speech by Jimmy Carter.) To its credit, Harvard turned the money back. To his discredit, Carter did not.

Jimmy Carter was, of course, aware of Harvard's decision, since it was highly publicized. Yet he kept the money. Indeed, this is what he said in accepting the funds: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan  al-Nahyan." Carter's personal friend, it turns out, was an unredeemable  anti-Semite and all-around bigot.


...

The extent of Carter's financial support from, and even  dependence on, dirty money is still not fully known. What we do know is deeply troubling. Carter and his Center have accepted millions of  dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and  virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family, and among whose principal investors is Carter's friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the bank, gave Carter "$500,000 to help the former president establish his center...[and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects."

Carter gladly accepted the money, though Abedi had called his bank, ostensibly the source of his funding, "the best way to fight the  evil influence of the Zionists." BCCI isn't the only source: Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center "in 1993 alone...$7.6  million" as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family,  as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh  Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.  It's worth noting that, despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government's myriad human  rights abuses, the Carter Center's Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia. 


...


By Carter's own standards, therefore, his views on the Middle East must be discounted. It is certainly possible that he now believes them. Money, particularly large amounts of money, has a way of persuading people to a particular position. It would not surprise me if Carter, having received so much Arab money, is now honestly committed to their cause. But his failure to disclose the extent of his financial dependence on Arab money, and the absence of any self reflection on  whether the receipt of this money has unduly influenced his views, is a form of deception bordering on corruption.

I have met cigarette lobbyists, who are supported by the cigarette industry, and who have come to believe honestly that cigarettes are merely a safe form of adult recreation, that cigarettes are not addicting and that the cigarette industry is really trying to persuade children not to smoke. These people are fooling themselves (or fooling us into believing that they are fooling themselves) just as  Jimmy Carter is fooling himself (or persuading us to believe that he is  fooling himself).

If money determines political and public views as Carter insists "Jewish money" does, Carter's views on the Middle East must be deemed to have been influenced by the vast sums of Arab money he has received. If he who pays the piper calls the tune, then Carter's off-key tunes have  been called by his Saudi Arabian paymasters. It pains me to say this, but I now believe that there is no person in American public life today who has a lower ratio of real to apparent integrity than Jimmy Carter.  The public perception of his integrity is extraordinarily high. His real integrity, it now turns out, is extraordinarily low. He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes. That is now Jimmy Carter's sad legacy.'
Remember those facts about Jimmy Carter the next time his 'expert & impartial' views are sought  about Israel and the Middle East.
 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The quick-wittednessof a viola player

The quick-wittedness of viola player Lukáš Kmit on display here in a video recorded at the Preslov synagogue in Slovakia When an audience member's Nokia mobile phone starts rinigng , he takes action!

Well played!

Is much of the west's media biased against Israel?

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will know that I believe the answer is yes and I have shown the proof time and time again. Today I will just link you to this piece from The Journal of Applied Business Research – November/December 2011 Volume 27, Number 6, entitled Reuters: Principles Of Trust Or Propaganda? It's written by Henry I. Silverman of Roosevelt University, USA and is a must read, if rather long and detailed.

Here are some of the results:
'With respect to research questions 1-3: across the fifty articles in the data sample, ECA reveals 1,104 occurrences of reporting/ethical failures, i.e., propaganda devices, logical fallacies, and violations of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism, with a mean of 22.08 reporting/ethical failures per article. The propaganda device of asymmetrical definition occurs most frequently with a total of 129 instances followed by the propaganda device of card stacking with 94 occurrences. The logical fallacy occurring most frequently is appeal to pity and the Handbook violation occurring with the greatest frequency is that of a failure to uphold social responsibility.

...

In a particularly egregious example of card stacking and historical reconstruction reminiscent of the Lebanese doctored photo scandal discussed in the introduction to this paper, Reuters publishes a large captioned photo on May 31, 2010 depicting an injured Israeli commando being held down by passengers on board the Mavi Marmara during the violent incident discussed above. The original photo was taken by a passenger on the ship and published on the website of the Turkish Islamist group, İnsani Yardım Vakfı (IHH), which sponsored the Gaza flotilla. In a comparison between the original photo and that published by Reuters, one notes the Reuters version has been materially cropped, excising a serrated knife held by one of the passengers, a pool of blood, and another injured Israeli commando prostrate on the floor. A violation of the Reuters Handbook, the cropping removed contextually essential information, i.e., evidence of the weapons held and deployed by passengers against the Israelis, thus effectively censoring the facts revealed by the original photo. Reuters has since acknowledged the photo manipulation but insists that this had been ―normal editorial practice‖.20

...

Over 500 Israeli civilians died in 140 Palestinian suicide bomb attacks from 2000 to 2007. More than 4,500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the same period.
Even here however, serious reporting failures occur. In an instance of card stacking, Perry includes all Palestinians killed by any means but willfully excludes Israeli security personnel and those Israelis killed by means other than suicide bomb attacks. When these groups are included, the number of Israelis killed rises to more than double Perry's appraisal.29 And note how Perry describes the Israelis as having (passively) "died" while Palestinians were (actively) "killed". The use of the word ―died‖ here reflects another euphemism, and the asymmetric distorting of the casualty figures represents the propaganda device of error of statistical inference as well as being a violation of the Reuters‘ Handbook admonition to its journalists to take no side, tell all sides.30

A particularly rich example of this reporting failure can be seen in a Reuters story published on June 1, 201034 about the Turkish flotilla bound for Gaza discussed earlier in this section. Although more than 85 percent of the story content consists of quotes from passengers promoting their version of the incident and no comments from Israeli officials or military personnel participating in the operation are provided (a violation of the Reuters Handbook35), Reuters headlines its story with the presumptive title ―Factbox‖. Following this, is an overt lie and non sequitur:
Israel has detained some 700 activists incommunicado, ensuring no contradiction of its version of events. [italics mine]
Reuters then proceeds to quote five of the passengers contradicting Israel‘s version of events[!]. The passenger comments are laden with emotional accounts of violations of international law, including alleged atrocities, by Israeli commandos. Passenger Mutlu Tiiryaki for example, asserts:
When we went up to the deck, they emerged from helicopters and military boats and attacked us. They approached our vessel with military ships after issuing a warning. We told them that we were unarmed. Our sole weapon was water.
In this instance of card stacking, Reuters fails to report that Tiryaki was not actually a passenger on the Mavi Marmara, the ship where passengers met and assaulted Israeli commandoes with knives and iron bars.36 Moreover, nowhere in the story does Reuters interview or provide alternative testimony from Israelis, several of whom were severely beaten, knifed and immobilized by passengers as documented by video footage and photographs taken by both Israeli military sources and the passengers themselves as noted earlier.37

On August 3, 2010, an Israeli military maintenance crew was paring tree branches on the Israeli side of the ―Blue Line‖, the official United Nations border demarcation between Israel and Lebanon to its north, when Lebanese troops opened fire on the crew and security positions on the Israeli side of the border killing an Israeli officer and seriously wounding another. Israeli forces immediately retaliated, killing a Lebanese army sergeant. The following day, Reuters published a captioned photo of the daughter of the dead Lebanese soldier, crying at his funeral. In this example of the logical fallacy of appeal to pity, the propaganda technique of card stacking, and the Handbook violation of take no side/tell all sides, Reuters elicits sympathy for the Lebanese soldier and his family while providing no balancing depiction of Israeli familial losses, despite the fact that the Lebanese military initiated the violence resulting in the fatalities.

As demonstrated by 75 occurrences across the data sample, Reuters regularly violates this policy in its Middle East reporting. In a story published on its website on July 7, 201039 ―Palestinians wary of direct peace talks with Israel‖, correspondents Ali Sawafta and Douglas Hamilton refer to the last unallocated portion of the Palestine Mandate as the ―West Bank‖ seven times. The appellation ―West Bank‖ was assigned to the territory in 1949 by the Arabs of Jordan (then ―Transjordan‖) following their invasion, conquest, and illegal occupation of the land and associated ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities from the area.40 The acknowledged Israeli-Judeo name for the disputed territory is Judea and Samaria, any reference to which is notably absent from Sawafta and Hamilton‘s story. This asymmetric handling falsely suggests Jordanian or Arab sovereignty of the land, underscores Reuters‘ Arab ethnocentric vantage point, and thus, the agency‘s support for the Arab side of the conflict.
Similarly, Sawafta and Hamilton cite Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas‘ aide Nabil Abu Rdainah:
In talks mediated by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice the Israelis acknowledged that occupied land means the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Arab East Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley, [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ aide] Abu Rdainah said.
In violation of the Reuters Handbook, Sawafta and Hamilton parrot the term ―West Bank‖ and the loaded expression ―Arab East Jerusalem‖, again revealing a distinctly Arab ethnocentric vantage point. Moreover, no Israeli source is cited that might otherwise contravene Abu Rdainah‘s assertion that Israel had acknowledged these areas as ―occupied‖, a violation of the fairness doctrine of Reuters Handbook41. Indeed, as Israel claims all of Jerusalem under its sovereignty, it is highly unlikely any Israeli official would refer to the eastern portion of Jerusalem as ―Arab East Jerusalem‖, the reference to which also reflects a historical reconstruction.'
Do read the whole paper, there are many more examples.


The report also analyses how the anti-Israel bias affects the reader/viewer, here are some examples that show why this sort of bias is practiced by media outlets such as Reuters and why it is so dangerous:
'With respect to research question 4, on average, subjects take a largely neutral view of the belligerents going into the study (untransformed mean 3.18) but substantially shift their view in favor of the Arabs/Palestinians over the course of the readings (untransformed mean 2.17). Similarly, with respect to research question 5, prior to the readings subjects are nearly dead neutral on whether they feel motivated to take supportive action on behalf of one or the other belligerent parties (untransformed mean 3.12) but over the course of the readings, subjects feel significantly more motivated to take supportive action on behalf of the Arabs/Palestinians (untransformed mean 2.35).

There is a highly significant and negative association between propaganda (Falsehoods, Omissions, Distortions) appearing in the sample stories and reader responses to each of the survey questions. Specifically, as the frequency of atrocity propaganda increases, subject responses shift toward the lower end of the scale, i.e., become increasingly favorable/sympathetic toward the Arabs/Palestinians. Similarly, an increase in atrocity propaganda motivates subjects to take supportive action on behalf of the Arabs/Palestinians. These results strongly suggest that when atrocity propaganda is employed by Reuters (32 occurrences across the sample), it is typically arrayed against the Israelis, i.e., the Israelis are portrayed as the offending party committing atrocities against the Arabs/Palestinians.'
Do read the whole paper there are many more examples.


Now Reuters is not alone in its bias against Israel and that is why the next extract from the article needs to be read with the BBC in mind:
'Although Reuters is not a recognized belligerent in the Middle East conflict, the agency‘s use of (one-sided) atrocity propaganda to influence its audience may be viewed as a form of psychological warfare as defined by Lineberger (1954) in that it is successfully driving attitude changes and motivating its readership to take direct action to support one of the belligerents, the Arabs/Palestinians, in response to stories of ―inhuman acts‖ allegedly perpetrated by the Israelis. This is akin to the purpose, content, and success of atrocity propaganda circulated by both the Allies and Germany during the first world war (Jowett and O‘Donnell, 1999).


The final question for study asks what can be inferred about the ideology and purpose of Reuters Middle East reporting from the data. With its much vaunted Trust Principles and Handbook of Journalism, Reuters would have us believe that its reporting on the Arab/Israeli conflict is consistent with the agency‘s commitment to ―integrity, independence, and freedom from bias‖54 and that its correspondents and editors in this area are making all efforts ―to search for and report the truth, fairly, honestly, and unfailingly‖55, i.e., to adhere to the highest ethical standards of professional journalism.
Yet, the findings reveal a radically different journalistic approach and product and suggest a very different set of objectives for the agency. The enormous number of reporting/ethical failures in the form of propaganda devices, logical fallacies, and violations of the Reuters Handbook seen in the story sample, the largely asymmetric nature of these failures, and the demonstrated ability to powerfully shape reader attitudes and motivate direct action via the deployment of atrocity propaganda, appeals to pity and appeals to poverty, provide strong evidence of an ideology which is heavily partisan, i.e., supportive of the Arabs/Palestinians, and an explicit purpose to systematically disseminate that ideology and manipulate audiences to adopt the same. This would be a clear violation of Reuters‘ ethical charter, the Trust Principles, as well as the ethical and professional guidelines set out in the Reuters Handbook.

Conclusion
This paper examines a sample of fifty news-oriented articles related to the Middle East conflict published on the Reuters proprietary websites across a three month study window. A combination of Ethnographic Content Analysis and primary survey data are employed to identify, code and validate reporting/ethical failures in the articles, i.e., propaganda, logical fallacies, and violations of the Reuters Handbook. Tests are run to measure for 1) shifts in audience attitudes and support for the primary belligerent parties in the Middle East conflict following readings of the sample and, 2) associations between the reporting/ethical failures and audience attitudes/support. Over 1,100 occurrences of reporting/ethical failures across forty-one categories are identified and a significant shift in audience attitudes and support following article readings is observed. Significant associations are found between 1) the use of atrocity propaganda and audience favorability/sympathy toward the Arabs/Palestinians; 2) the use of the appeal to pity fallacy and audience favorability/sympathy toward the Arabs/Palestinians; and 3) the use of atrocity propaganda, appeal to pity and appeal to poverty fallacies, and audience motivation to take supportive action on behalf of the Arabs/Palestinians. It is inferred from the evidence that Reuters engages in systematically biased storytelling in favor of the Arabs/Palestinians and is able to influence audience affective behavior and motivate direct action along the same trajectory. This reflects a fundamental failure to uphold the Reuters corporate governance charter and ethical guiding principles.'
I wonder if anyone has the time to carry out a similar study on another non recognised belligerent in the Middle East conflict whose use of (one-sided) atrocity propaganda to influence its audience may be viewed as a form of psychological warfare - the BBC...

That Croatian referendum

The BBC enthusiastically tell us that:
'Near complete results from Croatia's referendum on European Union membership suggest that a large majority of people want to join the EU in 2013.

With nearly all the votes counted, 66% of voters backed the membership. About 33% were against.'
The BBC do also add that 'But officials expressed disappointment at the low turnout of about 44%.' but it's not as important as the 'large majority' comment.

For some more information on this story England Expects has something of interest from the 'Only Croatia' party:

Contrary to official claims, the Croatian people did not overwhelmingly support Croatia's membership of the European Union.

In fact, most Croats abstained from the EU referendum resulting in a record low participation level of only 43%, which means that even if  all those who turned out, voted in favour of EU membership, they would still constitute a minority not only of voters, but of the Croatian people.

At the first-ever referendum held in Croatia in 1991, the turnout was 83.5%, of which 94% voted in favour of independence.

Fully aware that the Croatian People do not want to give up their hard earned independence, the ruling elites changed the Croatian Constitution prior to the EU referendum to eliminate the rule which invalidated any referendum unless 50 percent participation was achieved.

Prior to the EU referendum, the Croatian people were subjected to a massive North Korea-style pro–EU propaganda campaign, which relentlessly extolled the benefits and virtues of
membership, and denigrated any attempts to say otherwise.
 
The Government spent huge amounts of public funds to pay for a massive YES campaign, whilst denying any funding to the NO case. In addition, the European Commision ran its own very expensive YES campaign. State enterprises and corporations were also enlisted. State Television aired pro-EU adverts for free or at discounted rates, Croatia Post home delivered more than 2 million government leaflets for free, and the City of Zagreb provided free EU advertising on its trams.

The official referendum campaign was restricted to a four week period at the height of winter and favoured the official YES case which had almost exclusive access to the electronic media. It also exploited seasonal distractions provided by Christmas and New Year celebrations as well as winter school holidays.

The real referendum campaign had actually started much much earlier and involved, not thousands, but tens of thousands,  pro-EU advertisements on radio and Television.

The 'Vecernji List' daily reported on 10.8.2011 that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EU Integrations had in the two preceeding months (June and July 2011) paid the broadcasting of  more than 13 thousand radio adverts and more than 2300 TV adverts on 80 radio stations, 6 national and 15 local TV stations. This massive propaganda campaign continued and even increased in scope and intensity over the next six months leading up to the referendum.

The Austrian, German and Government-owned electronic and print media ( ie all the media in Croatia) blatantly supported the YES case and made sure that the YES campaign was the only campaign.   Hundreds of sponsored 'information programs' were aired over many months and even more 'informative' newspaper articles were printed.

The Catholic Church hierarchy, lavishly funded by the State, also openly supported the YES case and seemed unconcerned that there was no democratic public debate and no visible NO case.

In the last few weeks, the population was carpet-bombed by advertisements and appeals on TV, radio and the print media from the President, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader,   Ministers, Actors, Singers and Sportsmen to choose EU prosperity and happiness over isolation and poverty.

Just days before the referendum, Foreign minister Vesna Pusić shamelessly threatened Croatia's 1.2 million pensioners that they would lose their pensions if they voted against EU membership. The Zvijezda voting station in Zagreb, which covers several retirement homes with about 1100 pensioners, reported an 80 percent vote in favour of EU membership.

And the result of this massive propaganda campaign ? -A referendum turnout of only 43% of  all voters and a vote of 66% in favour of EU membership and 33% against.

And even this vote is somewhat suspect because Croatia has more voters than citizens. According to the latest 2011 Population Census, Croatia has a total population of only 4.29 million, yet according to the Electoral Commission it has 4,504,765 voters over 18 years of age eligible to vote.

In such blatantly undemocratic circumstances, it was impossible for the Croatian People to make an informed decision and the EU referendum therefore has no democratic legitimacy. It has all the hallmarks of a sham.

It is clear that the EU referendum in Croatia was a swindle which did not meet even the most basic democratic criteria, and whose sole purpose was to elicit an affirmative vote.

We call on the Croatian Government and the political elites to recognise the reality that the Croatian People have not freely and democratically given their consent to the loss of their independence.

We call on the Croatian Government to do the right thing, to annul this sham referendum, to organise a new, fair and democratic referendum, and to give the Croatian People the opportunity to make a free and informed decision about their future.   

Should this not happen, we ask all the democratically minded Peoples of existing EU members not to participate in this undemocratic swindle of the Croatian People. We ask them and their National Parliaments to block the ratification of Croatia's membership of the EU, until such time as the Croatian People are given the right to decide freely at a fair, democratic and legitimate referendum.
The latter article does smack of being truthful when you remember how pro-EU forces have managed previous referenda

Saudi education in the West

Here's a blog article from 2010 that I have just been made aware of:
'"Public Schools Teach the ABCs of Islam," by Erick Stakelbeck for CBN News, October 9, 2008:

CBNNews.com - Several recent studies have shown that American students are alarmingly ignorant about U.S. history and world events.

Experts have contributed the problem to everything from failing schools to substandard teachers.

But what about content?

For instance, did you know that Muslims discovered America? Or that Jerusalem is an Arab city? That's just some of the "history" that students in America's K-12 classrooms have been taught in recent years--with the help of taxpayer money.

A new report by the non-profit Institute for Jewish and Community Research finds that American high school and elementary textbooks contain countless inaccuracies about Christianity, Judaism, Israel and the Middle East.

The Institute examined 28 of the most widely-used history, geography and social studies textbooks in America. It found at least 500 errors.

One book ignored the Jewish roots of Christianity, saying the faith was founded by a "young Palestinian" named Jesus.

Another stated as fact that the Koran was revealed to Mohammed from God.

Yet another said ancient Jewish civilization contributed "very little" to to the arts and sciences.

Textbooks like these are used by millions of schoolchildren in all 50 states.[...]

Harvard is one of 18 universities that receives government funding under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965. To qualify for that funding, the universities are required to conduct outreach to K-12 teachers, helping them to shape lessons for schoolchildren. Elementary and secondary teachers have taken full advantage of the arrangement: after all, they believe they're getting expert insight on Islam and the Middle East from distinguished university scholars.

"You have a lot of politically naive teachers--well intentioned teachers who do want their students to learn more about Islamic history," says Stotsky. "It has not been well covered in most history courses they've ever taken, so they do genuinely want to learn more for themselves and teach their students more."

In some cases they may be getting more than they bargained for: the Saudi government has donated millions of dollars to Middle East Centers at universities that receive Title VI funding.

The Harvard Middle Eastern Studies Center--whose recommendations to the Massachusetts Board originally drew Stosky's concern--is one of them. As CBN News reported earlier this year, the Harvard Center received a $20 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in 2005. Georgetown University--another title VI recipient--also received $ 20 million from the Prince that same year.

It's through these Title VI university centers--all of them government-sanctioned and taxpayer supported--that Saudi-funded materials find their way into K-12 classrooms.

"Saudi donations to American universities should be seen in a much larger picture of Saudi promotion of a Saudi point of view," said Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia. "Whether it be Islamic or political, the Saudis have a point of view. And they have been very clever and very generous over the decades to promote that point of view."'
I've covered this sort of story before with reference to the UK but thought it worth pointing out that the Saudis are not restricting this sort of 'education' to the UK.

Why Somalians?

One of the noticeable features of immigration under the last labour government was the appearance of Somali men, women and children all over London. It always struck me as odd as Somalia had no real connection with the UK, it was never part of the British Empire for example. Historically Kenyans (especially Kenyan Asians), Ghanaians and others from former countries of the Empire had immigrated into the UK from Africa but now Somalians were coming. This fact might just be an interesting footnote were it not only for for the fact that Somalia is a war zone and has been for many years but also because Somalis living in Britain are being discovered fighting in Somalia. Over the last few days I have read of two British residents, the British government is said to be unsure if they are citizens (a story in itself there), who have been killed in Somalia whilst fighting for Al-Quaeda. One, Bilal al-Berjawi was killed on the outskirts of Mogadishu on Saturday when his car was hit by three missiles. Mr Berjawi was said to be responsible for recruitment, training and tactics for the Islamist group al-Shabab, which is fighting the weak UN-backed government. Al-Shabab claimed that Mr Berjawi, who had Lebanese origins, grew up in Britain and had fought in Afghanistan before going to Somalia.

Is this the new role of Britain, to provide a safe haven for Islamist fighters to recuperate in between foreign wars on behalf of Islam against Western troops, maybe even British ones? What will the UK government do if/when they decide to bring the battle to the streets of the UK?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Eurocrats don't like being questioned

Vincent Browne takes on Klaus Masuch over the issue of the Irish people having to foot the bill for unguaranteed bondholders.

Marvellous stuff... I love Herr Masuch's obvious discomfort as he realises that Vincent Browne a) knows his stuff and b) won't be fobbed off with the usual bland assurances.



Sunday, 22 January 2012

The voice of Egyptian Islam?

"Jews are a cancer. These Jews are a catastrophe. There is not a catastrophe in the world that is not the handiwork of the Jews. These Jews are a cancer in the body of planet Earth, and if permitted, it will spread and infect the entire body. Getting rid of these Jews is a must."
The words of Egyptian cleric Hazem Shuman, as aired on Al-Rahma TV on September 9, 2011.

For more from this delightful chap take a trip to MEMRI TV.
I await the BBC's denouncements of this Islamic cleric, much in the same way as I await the winning of the national Lottery - with no great expectation.

Sometimes 'wanker' wins


Wanker wins on Countdown.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Do you think Tyson wants to go for a walk?


I love Boxers (the dogs) and this one looks a complete joy...

Demonising the photographer

Here's an interesting piece of video that shows how too many 'security' staff view photographers

for the background to the video visit Visit Scunthorpe.

I have blogged before about the rather strange views people have of photographers and the quoting of mythical laws against photography, this piece may be an interesting one to keep on hand should you experience problems in the future. It contains the guidance from the Metropolitan Police:
'Photography advice

The Metropolitan Police Service’s approach towards photography in public places is a subject of regular debate.

We encourage officers and the public to be vigilant against terrorism but recognise the balance between effective policing and protecting Londoners and respecting the rights of the media and the general public to take photographs.

Guidance around the issue has been made clear to officers and PCSOs through briefings and internal communications. The following advice is available to all officers and provides a summary of the Metropolitan Police Service’s guidance around photography in public places.


Freedom to photograph/film

Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.



Photography and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000

The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place.



Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, provided that the viewing is to determine whether the images contained in the camera or mobile telephone are of a kind, which could be used in connection with terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects is intended to be used in connection with terrorism.



Photography and Section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000

Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether they have in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism.

Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000

Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000 covers the offence of eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police.

Any officer making an arrest for an offence under Section 58a must be able to demonstrate a reasonable suspicion that the information was of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

It should ordinarily be considered inappropriate to use Section 58a to arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests, as without more, there is no link to terrorism.

There is however nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable.'

As the press sniff around the Republican candidates...

As the press sniff around the Republican candidates, I ask myself when did they ever spend a 10th as much energy examining barack Obama's back-story? I raised the questions about Barack Obama's past back in the Presidential election campaign and this American Thinker article covers much of the same ground:
'However, of greater importance in my view is the silence, save for a few journalists and pundits on the right, regarding exposing a videotape recorded in 2003 of Barack Obama at the farewell dinner for terrorist-supporting Palestinian Rashid Khalidi.  News of the videotape's existence came to light while Obama was a candidate, and the free pass given to him by the mainstream media was only just beginning to come to light when the enamored Chris Matthews' shared news of the tingle up his leg.
While the birthers' demands did draw some media attention, it was mostly negative and only made fun of the supposedly crazy loons on the far right who apparently were representative of all petty and irrational conservatives.  No one seemed to notice that Obama had not written a single article while serving as editor of The Harvard Law Review, and no one pressed the issue of Obama's suppressed college and law school transcripts since it was a given that his brilliance was perhaps surpassed only by the likes of Albert Einstein.
But there is a videotape sitting in the vaults of the Los Angeles Times, and every American should be screaming from the rooftops for its release.  In light of the Arab Spring, Obama's endless attempts to bully Israel into succumbing to all sorts of unprecedented and unsafe demands in the hopes that he would go down in history as the POTUS who made peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the administration's ineptness in addressing Iran's nuclear program and military threats, exposing this videotape is of utmost importance.
In April 2010, Roger L. Simon published an article on PajamasMedia entitled, "Why is the L.A. Times Burying the Obama/Khalidi Tape?"  Of further consequence is why the media -- and Americans -- are not demanding that the L.A. Times immediately release the tape.  Simon wrote:
The Khalidi tape could be of tremendous significance in revealing the provenance of Obama's views on the Middle East and the degree to which the public was misled on those views during the presidential campaign[.] ...
So what are we to think? We have an administration that not only ascribes most of the Middle East blame to Israel, but also has banned "Islamism" and all related words, even "Islam" and "jihad" from our national security documents. They're completely gone. Indeed, even the Fort Hood massacre, so clearly inspired by Islamic extremism, has now been shifted into the comfortable category of the lone, angry killer. Rashid Khalidi should be happy. And, in fact, he is.
Sometimes I want to yell and scream. What is wrong with the Los Angeles Times? Are they a news organization or the propaganda wing of some leftover unit of the IWW? No wonder subscribers are deserting them in droves.'
As I blogged back in October 2008:
'The truth about Barack Obama is emerging slowly but surely. He and his team have done a good job until recently in suppressing negative stories and crying racism when they do emerge but the tide cannot be held back forever. The latest story concerns a 2003 farewell party in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honour, Rashid Khalidi a former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat. The National Review reports that:
"The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency."
Do read the whole of that piece and then take a look at Gateway Pundit's piece on this matter which wonders (as does The National Review) why the LA Times might be keeping this video away from public view:
"the newspaper says it will not release the tape of Obama toasting radical Rashid Khalidi at a Jew-bash in Chicago".


As the National Review ask:
"Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.

Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.

Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?

Do we really have to ask?"


What are the odds on the BBC reporting this story or will they stick to Sarah Palin's wardrobe and reporting "plans" to assassinate Barack Obama. The bias of the US and UK media (especially the BBC) during this Presidential election campaign has been almost unbelievable, I would say criminal.'
Criminal then and criminal now.

Friday, 20 January 2012

'There's not enough womens' sport on television' - Rule 5 on a Friday

That there's not enough womens' sport on television was one of the reasons given for there being no female sportsmen in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist. To help rectify that here's a trailer for the 2012 Lingerie Bowl




The humanitarian cruise missile

Israel faces more challenges than any other country when it comes to warfare. Unlike the USA or Russia (or indeed almost any other country) it can't just kill civilians by mistake and escape censure, hence the Delilah cruise missile:
'“Honestly, it’s the most amazing weapon in the Air Force today.” – These are the words an IAF officer used to describe the Delilah and it’s easy to understand why he is right.

For many years the Delilah was one of the IDF’s biggest secrets, quietly undergoing improvement after improvement, until it became what it is today. Delilah is a cruise missile but it possesses some very unique capabilities that set it apart from the rest.

A typical cruise missile is launched and finds its pre-programmed target with the help of its navigational system. The navigator can send the missile commands and make small adjustments in its flight path, but once the missile begins its final approach no changes can be made. If the missile attacks a target that moves in the last moment or even a wrong target, the missile simply misses with possibly devastating consequences. This is where the Delilah’s special abilities come into play.

Let’s say Delilah is approaching a target and in the last moment the navigator sees on the images transmitted from the missile’s camera that there are civilians in the target zone. All he needs to do is push a button and Delilah aborts its attack, returns to the air and keeps loitering in the target zone until it receives new instructions. Delilah can also be launched in the direction of a suspected target and be instructed to patrol the area and search for its target, effectively functioning as a surveillance drone. Once the navigator identifies the target, he instructs Delilah to approach it. If the target was correctly identified Delilah will attack. If it was not the correct target, a push of a button is enough and Delilah will abort its approach and continue to search for the real target.'

Delilah the humanitarian cruise missile. for more about this remarkable device take a look here at the IAF's site

Thursday, 19 January 2012

No reply from Anjem Choudary yet

Anjem Choudary's Twitter feed is a source that keeps on giving...

I have not received a reply to my Tweeted question and somehow I doubt that I will.

Dear Jimmy

Following this morning's piece about Jimmy Carter's report on his trip to Egypt, I thought that I would ask the former US President for an explanation, so I emailed him:
'A query regarding your report on your visit to Egypt

Nota Sheep
09:58 (2 minutes ago)


to carterweb
Your report on your recent trip to Egypt (http://www.cartercenter.org/news/trip_reports/egypt-011712.html) included this section:
'Tuesday morning we received detailed analyses by experts on the election process and political affairs, and then had a thorough discussion with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the SCAF and acting as de facto president of Egypt.

I was received with a friendly welcome as I congratulated the military leaders for what seemed to be a successful election, and then asked a number of questions. It seemed that the SCAF had full confidence that there would be accommodation to their demands by the Muslim Brotherhood and their coalition partners as the new government is formed. Instead of the reported 12,000 mostly political prisoners being held for trials in military courts, the Field Marshal stated that there were no more than 3,000, all of whom were guilty of criminal acts and being tried in civilian courts. He stated that the widely promulgated videos showing military attacks on demonstrators and a woman "with the blue brassiere" were all falsified. He said the soldiers were actually helping the woman re-clothe herself with what was provocative attire. '
You don't seem to question that which the Field Marshall said to you. Perhaps you could spare less than a minute to look at this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vf_0p4a_GwI) of the girl in the blue bra and let me know whether you think the video was falsified or shows the woman being repeatedly beaten by Egyptian soldiers.

Your thoughts on this matter would be welcomed.

NotaSheep MaybeaGoat'
I wonder if I will get a reply and if it will be any more informative than a reply to a complaint to the BBC?