Wednesday 30 November 2011

'LSE criticised for links with Gaddafi regime in Libya'

The BBC report that:
'The London School of Economics has been heavily criticised for a "chapter of failures" in its links with the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

A report by former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf says mistakes and errors of judgement damaged the LSE's reputation.

The school's director, Sir Howard Davies, resigned in March over a £1.5m gift from a foundation led by Colonel Gaddafi's son Saif, a former student.

The LSE says it accepts all Lord Woolf's recommendations.'
Will there be a government sponsored enquiry into the links between senior British politicians and Saif Gaddafi? Maybe it could start by looking at the dealings, both personal and business, of Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair.

Octopus or Dalek?

An octopus showing that it is not entirely a water based creature...

Thanks to Boing Boing for the spot.

The 10 most quotable movies of all time

I found this article on Cable Providers and am not convinced (my comments in italics):
1. The Godfather - Never watched The Godfather, yes I know.... But I just haven't.
o “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
o “Leave the gun, take the cannolis.”
o “It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Wonderful film and oh so quotable
o “It’s just a flesh wound.”
o “Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?”
o “We are the Knights who say… Ni!”
o “I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.”

3. Caddyshack – Never watched it and is it worth it?

4. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – Never watched it and is it worth it?

5. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery - I quite like the Austin Power films but more for the set-piece parodies than the not particularly clever dialogue
o “Oh, behave.”
o “Yeah, baby!”
o “Throw me a frickin’ bone here!”

6. A Few Good Men - A classic film and "You can't handle the truth" is a favourite of Mrs NotaSheep and me.
o “You can’t handle the truth!”
o “I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant, the Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are my commanding officer Colonel Nathan R. Jessep and the Lord our God.
o “I run my unit how I run my unit. You want to investigate me, roll the dice and take your chances. I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill me, so don’t think for one second that you can come down here, flash your badge, and make me nervous.”

7. Forrest Gump - A rather dull film I thought
o “My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”
o “Stupid is as stupid does.”
o “Sometimes, I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.”
o “My name’s Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.”
o “ Run, Forrest! Run!”

8. Jerry Maguire - Never seen it and have no real desire to do so
o “Show me the money!”
o “You complete me.”
o “I love him! I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is.”
o “Shut up, just shut up. You had me at “hello”.”
o “That’s more than a dress. That’s an Audrey Hepburn movie.”

9. Steel Magnolias – Never watched it and is it worth it?

10. Casablanca – What a film, a true classic
o “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
o “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
o “We’ll always have Paris.”
o “I stick my neck out for nobody.”
o “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

But for quotable films how could they miss The Graduate?
Here are just some of the most memorable lines and exchanges:
"Mrs Robinson, you're trying to seduce me...Aren't you?"

"Are you here for an affair, sir?"

"Mrs. Robinson, if you don't mind my saying so, this conversation is getting a little strange."

"Do you have a special grudge against me? Do you feel a particularly strong resentment? Is there something I've said that's caused this contempt, or is it just things I stand for that you despise? "

"Listen to me. What happened between Mrs. Robinson and me was nothing. It didn't mean anything. We might just as well have been shaking hands.
Mr. Robinson: Shaking hands? Well, that's not saying much for my wife, is it? "

Mr McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Mr. Braddock: Ben, this whole idea sounds pretty half-baked.
Benjamin: Oh, it's not. It's completely baked.

"Goddamn, that's great. So old Elaine Robinson got started in a Ford."

And what about Citizen Kane?

"Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Switzerland... he was thrown out of a lot of colleges."

And what about the film that Mrs NotaSheep always confuses with Casablanca - Brief Encounter?

"I wish you'd stop talking. I wish you'd stop prying and trying to find things out. I wish you were dead - no I don't mean that. That was silly and unkind. But I wish you'd stop talking. "

"Dr. Alec Harvey: I love you. I love you. You love me too. It's no use pretending it hasn't happened cause it has.
Laura Jesson: Yes it has. I don't want to pretend anything either to you or to anyone else. But from now on, I shall have to. That's what's wrong. Don't you see? That's what spoils everything. That's why we must stop, here and now, talking like this. We're neither of us free to love each other. There's too much in the way. There's still time, if we control ourselves and behave like sensible human beings. There's still time."

"Fred Jesson: You've been a long way away.
Laura Jesson: Yes.
Fred Jesson: Thank you for coming back to me. "

Do you have any better suggestions of quotable films?

Postal voting fraud and worse

I have just read this article by Paul Weston which repeats much that I knew about postal voting and why the last Labour government was so keen to increase this method of voting. It also includes some passages which if true are almost incredible:
'As the haunting wail of the Muezzin - recently described by Barack Obama as the sweetest sound in the world - roused the slumbering Pakistani inhabitants of Mirpur, Kashmir, to Morning Prayer, young Sammy Mohammed was awakened somewhat more brutally by the boot of local Mirpurian MP, Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry.

“By eck Sammy lad, thy lazy young beggar, you’ll not be thwarting democracy in Britain by festering in’t pit all day, by gum. Hand over them proxy votes sharpish my lad, lest you want your backside tanning!”

The beginning of a satirical article? I am afraid not. It is routine practice for dual nationality Pakistanis residing in Kashmir to sign thousands of proxy vote forms for the British General Election, in order that their Pakistani brothers in Britain may use them to subvert our democracy.

One “British” Mirpuri resident described the blind signing of the electoral proxy votes thus: "They said I didn't have to fill in any details, just to sign my name at the bottom of the form," he says, smiling. "So I signed two...I personally know 25 other people who did the same thing, lots of people just on this street, but everybody does it."

Having collected thousands of forms, Pakistani politicians such as Sultan Chaudry hop on the Kashmiri red-eye to Britain, where they distribute said forms amongst the many Muslims in our vibrantly diverse, exotic and eclectic multicultural cities, whilst advising them where their fraudulent vote should be cast to best represent their decidedly un-diverse and un-vibrant 7th Century mono-culture. In a BBC interview conducted in Manchester, Chaudry said:

"I'm here for the 6 May election. I always come during's basically so I can tell people how to vote and who to vote for...most of the Pakistanis here are from Mirpur, and I am the MP from Mirpur, and I know the issues here and who will be the best candidates to help solve the issues in Kashmir."

Even more astonishing than Pakistani politicians visiting Britain to tell the “British” electorate who to fraudulently vote for in order to solve the Kashmir Question, is the positively surreal concept of British politicians travelling to Pakistan to woo the local vote for precisely the same reason. That this actually happens is a damning indictment on how reliant Labour/Socialist politicos have become on the third world vote if they are ever to regain power.'
Do read the whole of Paul Weston's piece and worry about the state of the UK's democracy.

'Opinion polls have also shown that nearly two-fifths of Britain’s Muslims believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target ‘as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East’; that more than half believe that British Jews have ‘too much influence over the direction of UK foreign policy’; and that some 46 percent think that the Jewish community is ‘in league with Freemasons to control the media and politics.’'

'Opinion polls have also shown that nearly two-fifths of Britain’s Muslims believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target ‘as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East’; that more than half believe that British Jews have ‘too much influence over the direction of UK foreign policy’; and that some 46 percent think that the Jewish community is ‘in league with Freemasons to control the media and politics.’'
For more read this Melanie Phillips article.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

is the answer not to wank over your laptop or am I misunderstanding this BBC report? Yes I am, deliberately!

The BBC report in a piece headlined 'Scientists question if wi-fi laptops can damage sperm' that:
'Scientists are questioning if using wi-fi on a laptop to roam the internet could harm a man's fertility, after lab work suggested ejaculated sperm were significantly damaged after only four hours of exposure.

The benchside tests showed sperm were less able to swim and had changes in the genetic code that they carry.

Experts stress this does not mean the same would occur in a real-life setting and say men should not worry unduly.

But they are recommending more studies.'
It is odd how many times experts recommend more studies; it's almost as though they were trying to justify their jobs and obtain more funding... The research programme might be stimulating though!

Is that a bomb in your office?

MSNBC report something rather worrying for anyone who has a Hewlett Packard LaserJet in their office or home:
'Could a hacker from half-way around the planet control your printer and give it instructions so frantic that it could eventually catch fire? Or use a hijacked printer as a copy machine for criminals, making it easy to commit identity theft or even take control of entire networks that would otherwise be secure?

It’s not only possible, but likely, say researchers at Columbia University, who claim they've discovered a new class of computer security flaws that could impact millions of businesses, consumers, and even government agencies.

Printers can be remotely controlled by computer criminals over the Internet, with the potential to steal personal information, attack otherwise secure networks and even cause physical damage, the researchers argue in a vulnerability warning first reported by They say there's no easy fix for the flaw they’ve identified in some Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printer lines – and perhaps on other firms’ printers, too – and there's no way to tell if hackers have already exploited it.

The researchers, who have working quietly for months in an electronics lab under a series of government and industry grants, described the flaw in a private briefing for federal agencies two weeks ago. They told Hewlett-Packard about it last week.'
A scare story or might it be true? Is this a way through firewalls, what extra security should one take?

Balen report update

The JC reports that the battle to force the BBC to reveal the report that they have spent so much money trying to keep hidden, the Balen Report, is still being fought:
'What is likely to be the final battle in a six-year campaign to force the BBC to release a report into its Middle East coverage began at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

London solicitor Steven Sugar first sought the publication of the Balen Report early in 2005 under the newly introduced Freedom of Information Act.

But although he died early this year, his widow, Fiona Paveley, was granted permission to continue the fight in his name . . .

This week’s case was due to have come before the Supreme Court in February but was postponed because of Mr Sugar’s death the previous month.'
I have written before about the Balen Report and why the BBC want to keep it secret, do take a read of my previous postings on this matter.

In case you are unaware, the Balen report was a BBC commissioned assessment of its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was written in 2004 by Malcolm Balen. The BBC never published the report and has spent at least £250,000 of licence payers money on legal fees trying (so far successfully) to cover up the report.

As I have said before, I would suggest that the BBC is institutionally biased against Israel, that that was one of the conclusions of the Balen Report and that that is why the BBC is so determined that that report is never released. For if the Balen Report cleared, or all but cleared, the BBC of anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias then the BBC would have released the report to show that they were officially not biased against Israel. As the BBC have not released the Balen report then that must be because the report showed that the BBC was biased against Israel...

How stupid are people?

Amongst my email I found this:

'STAFF TEAM to bcc: me


and this:
'WARNING ALERT!! Gmail Account Data Verification!!!

Gmail Alerts Team to gmaildatainfo..

Since October 2011, we have been cleaning our database system and making sure we have enough space to accommodate new users. You may have also noticed a change on the sign-in page as well as the Instant for easy search. Our Account verification team require you to provide your Account correspondence below for proper identification and confirmation on the new database system. We really don't want any user to lose access to his/her account during this process, so we want all users to participate in the verification process by informing us the requested details below regarding your account data saved on our new database for proper identification and confirmation.

**Email Address:
**Confirm Password:
**First & Last Names:
**Recovery Email
**Date of Birth:
**Present Country:

WARNING!!! Your account will be permanently eliminated or deleted on our database if the requested details above are not received by the Account verification team for proper identification and confirmation. We will not be responsible for your negligence. Thanks for your usual Support and Co-operation.

G m a i l T e a m.'
Does anybody really fall for these obvious scams? If they do then should we feel sorry or pity for them?

Is this how the climate change industry and its supporters operate?

Australian Climate Madness have a neat pdf for you to peruse.

If a picture paints a thousand words...

If a picture paints a thousand words then the faking of photos by environmentalists and their supporters at the BBC and Guardian speaks volumes. Watts Up With That has the details and the photos...

'... there’s the famous polar bear on the ice floe image ursus bogus.

Worse are the exaples of darkening the water vapour clouds that come out of power stations to make them look like black clouds of pollution. It's despicable, it's deliberately misleading and it's an attempt at brainwashing - right up The Guardian's street and that of the econuts at the BBC.

Airbrushing Jewish history from that of Palestine

Anyone who wondered why UNESCA was so keen to admit the Palestinian state to membership will understand if they look at this image
And if that is not clear, then read this explanatory Elder of Ziyon article.

The deliberate airbrushing of Jewish history from Palestine is a deliberate policy of the Palestinains, Muslim states, United Nations bodies and western media such as the BBC. It needs people like me to tell the truth.

Monday 28 November 2011

The new muscle building aid - vaguely NSFW

The Tug Toner... I seem to remember posting its predecessor's video up here a while back.

Thanks to Wasps Nest for the spot.

They breed them tough in the Punjab

The Warriors of Goja, from an Indian talent show, showing what Punjabis are made of...

The one hundred and fifty-first weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's prize goes to the OECD for the stagering insight, as reported by the BBC that:
'the eurozone and the UK are likely to enter a recession as the international body cuts its global growth forecasts.'
No shit, Sherlocks

"Create a meeting tomorrow at teen anal"

Video comparison between Microsoftt's Tellme and Apple's Siri.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Film recommendation time

Every so often Mrs NotaSheep gets to choose what film we watch and it's often a dire chick flick. This time it was Bridesmaids but I was relieved to discover that this was not a typical chick flick at all but a really funny film. Good characters who you get to know and understand, great often intelligent writing & some good acting and best of all very funny indeed. I haven't laughed out loud so much at a film for quite a while; I loved so many scenes that I don't want to pick one out, so just go and watch this film!

I think the film trailer shows too much of the film and could spoil it for anyone who has not seen the film; instead here's the full version if the 'argument' scene which I really rate... "My eggs are wet"

Kristen Wiig and Mia Rose Framption (yes Peter Frampton's daughter), presumably doing some improv work:
"You look like a Swiffer."

"Swiffers are the best, they're better than those old mops. Haven't you seen the commercials?

"Yeah I have. They're flat and they roll around and don't do anything."

"Yes they do. They can spray water too."

The 'religion of peace' strike again and exhibit a worrying lack of historical knowledge

I hear that the lovely Muslim Brotherhood have been spreading peace, love and understanding again. A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo at the Sunni world’s most prestigious center of 'learning' the al-Azhar Mosque turned into a call for genocide, with pledges to "one day kill all Jews". The chants included "Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv: Judgment Day has come" and passages from the Koran vowing that “one day "we shall kill all the Jews."

Please note that Tel Aviv is on the Israeli side of the 1948/1967 borders, so any calls to expell Jews form there shows the true intentions of those who prtend to want a return to 1967 borders. The return to 1967 borders is just the first step to the destruction of any Jewish state in the Middle East, something that too many Muslims just will not accept.

However the line of argument that most intrigued/disgusted me was when maps of the Old City of Jerusalem were didtibuted highlighting areas where "Zionists are aiming to change Jerusalem’s Muslim character." Interesting and lacking in historical knowledge as Jerusalem was a Jewish city long before Islam even existed as a religion/political dosctrine. King David established Jerusalmem as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel in around 1000 BC. That nice Jewish lad Jesus was crucified there in around 30 AD CE. It was only in around 610 AD that Islam started to venerate Jerusalem.

The Jews had Jerusalem as their capital city long before the Christians and the Muslims. The Jews were there for a thousand years before there was any such religion as Christianity and far longer before the birth of Islam. Under Jordanian rule from 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem was barred to all Israelis and most Jews, Jewish holy sites were used as latrines and storerooms and the city was Islamified. Under Israeli rule since 1967, Jerusalem has been openned to all religions, the Islamic holy sites are freely accessible to Muslims and not controlled by the Jewish state. So for the Muslim Brotherhood to complain about Israel changing 'Jerusalem’s Muslim character' is at best disingenuous, at worst shows that for many Muslims the Middle East (and indeed the whole world) should be purged of Jews.

How expensive cats are made


Sunday morning catchup - A climate change special

Some wind power stories that I neglected to blog about recently.

1) Prince Philip showed why he is one of my favourite royals when he opined that wind farms were ‘absolutely useless’, completely reliant on subsidies and that those who claimed they were one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy believed in ‘fairytales’.

2) Melanie Phillips in The Mail explains why 'Once again, Prince Philip has performed an invaluable national service by tilting at windmills — or to be more precise in this case, wind turbines.'

3) James Delingpole sings the praises (or not) of peer-review on Amazon.

4) Watts Up With That sings the praises of Donna Laframboise’s new exposé book on the IPCC.

5) The Resilient Earth explains 'Why Climate Models Lie'. Here's the start of the article, do go and read the whole piece:
'It has come to light that a number of climate scientists have been less than truthful with regard to climate data. As shocking and embarrassing as this has been to the scientific community, it serves only to emphasize the huge blind spot that scientists have for their computer models. It is a career ending offense to knowingly falsify data, yet the entire climate science community engages in even worse deception without a second thought. This is because lies are generated for them wholesale by their faithful yet duplicitous servants: computer climate models.
In a guest post on Roger Pielke Sr.'s web site, Hiroshi L. Tanaka of the University of the University of Tsukuba in Japan, reported on the results of a new paper he published with his student, Masahiro Ohashi (see “Data Analysis of Recent Warming Pattern in the Arctic”). In it they state “it is shown that both of decadal variabilities before and after 1989 in the Arctic can be mostly explained by the natural variability of the AO not by the external response due to the human activity.” While this is an important finding in and of itself, that is not what caught my attention.
The implications of Ohashi and Tanaka's finding for climate modeling are even more dramatic, and even more damaging, for the climate alarmist cause. Why this new finding is so damaging goes to the heart of how modeling is done and how models are calibrated to reflect previously “known” conditions. Here is how Dr. Tanaka stated the implications of their research:
According to our result, the rapid warming during 1970-1990 contains a large fraction of unpredictable natural variability due to the AO. The subsequent period of 1990-2010 indicates a clear trend of the AO to be negative. The global warming has been stopped by natural variability superimposed on the gentle anthropogenic global warming. The important point is that the IPCC models have been tuned perfectly to fit the rapid warming during 1970-1990 by means of the ice-albedo feedback (anthropogenic forcing) which is not actually observed. IPCC models are justified with this wrong scientific basis and are applied to project the future global warming for 100 years in the future. Hence, we warn that the IPCC models overestimate the warming trend due to the mislead Arctic Oscillation.
This mildly worded warning belies the theory shattering implications it contains for all climate modelers who have depended on a strong ice-albedo feedback to calibrate their models. As the old computer programming saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” Tanaka has just informed the world's climate modelers that that have been basing their models on garbage. More specifically, what the modelers and climate scientists took for a strong anthropogenically influenced feedback, albedo change due to changes in ice cover, has been shown to be mostly attributable to natural variability.'

Saturday 26 November 2011

I know how she feels

Russian newsreader Tatiana Limanova gives Obama middle finger during a News Cast, she has been sacked - shame!

The times they are a-changing - 'Arab Spring' style

Thanks to Theo Spark for the video spot.

Nice Pussy!

Immigration and youth unemployment, the link that may not be mentioned by the BBC

As I sat in a cafe near work the other day I mused on the fact that both waitresses were eastern European, the chef was eastern European and the manager was eastern European. From their English language skills I would hazard the guess that none were born here and the chef may not have lived here for that long. Of the custonmers, the fout builders at the next table were Polish, as were the three builders at the table after that. At the weekend I went shoe shopping, at the nice shoe shop all the staff were eastern European, apart from the security man who had a ditsinct Ghanaian accent.

Is it any surprise that over a million British youth are unemployed when there are well over a million young Eastern European workers working in the UK in the service sector? Labour used immigration to 'rub the right's noses in diversity' and to drive down non-unionised wages for their big business friends whilst not upsetting their Trade Union masters. The result is that more and more British youth are unemployed their posible jobs having gone to largely East European youth.

Friday 25 November 2011

Ho hum!

The only cow in a small town in Ireland stopped giving milk.

The townsfolk did some online searching and found they could buy a cow quite cheaply in Scotland. So they did.

The Scottish cow was a wonderful cow, producing lots of milk every day, and everyone in town was happy.

Then, they bought a bull to mate with the Scottish cow to get more cows, so they'd never have to worry about their milk supply again.

They put the bull in the pasture with the cow, but whenever the bull tried to mount the cow, the cow would move away.

No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull and he was never able to accomplish his mission.

The people were very upset and decided to go to the vet in the neighboring town, since he was reputed to be a very wise man, tell him what was happening, and ask his advice.

"Doc, whenever our bull tries to mount our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. If he approaches her from the front, she backs off. If he attempts from the one side, she walks away to the other side."

The vet rubbed his chin thoughtfully and pondered this before asking, "Did you, by chance, buy this cow in Scotland?"

The people were dumbfounded, since no one had ever mentioned that they had brought the cow over from Scotland .

"You are truly a wise vet," they said. "How did you know we got the cow from Scotland?"

The vet replied with a distant look in his eye, "My wife is from Scotland..."

Emotions for which I wish there was one word

Is there a word for the emotion you feel when having let someone out from a side road so they are in front of you, they get through the next set of lights whilst you do not and so fall even further behind schedule?

Thursday 24 November 2011

1948 & 1949 a history lesson

I think that the events of 1948 & 1949 in the Middle East should be more widely understood, especially by those at the BBC who declare Israel should return to 1967 borders and that Israel was formed on Palestinian land.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Wednesday morning catchup - an immigration special

1) The Standard report the unsurprising news, for anyone who lives in London, that:
'London's secondary school system is dominated by black and Asian pupils, according to a landmark report that warns of "very high" segregation.

The most definitive study of its kind shows that 53 per cent of secondary pupils in the capital are now from an ethnic background, outstripping white pupils for the first time.

The change is due to a surge in the number from an ethnic background over the last decade...'
Don't be under any illusions that this was unforseen. Thanks to Andrew Neather we know that that massive rise in immigration under the last Labour government was not a mistake but because the Labour government wanted to deliberately open "up the UK to mass migration". Thanks to Andrew Neather's revelations we know that this was at least in part due to a politically motivated attempt by Labour ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity".

2) Melanie Phillips in The Mail explains the link between immigration and Border Control:
'The real reason is surely an intractable attitude among immigration officials that the Government is finding mighty hard to shift. While the Tories rightly see immigration control as vital for security and the orderly management of the country, their officials’ main preoccupation is instead the speedy processing of people in the passport queues.'

Is the future inflation or deflation?

A good question but I have always been of the mind that inflation is the enemy and not deflation. The more the Bank of England and ministers told me otherwise, the more I knew I was right.

This piece at Anna Raccoon seems to be in agreement with me, here's the conclusion:

'The ECB balance sheet is nowhere near sufficient for the task and so the choice is either:
  • to let country after country default and smash all their national banks (surely a non-starter),
  • let the Euro dissolve and go back to national currencies (the right move, but devastating for the EU project as a whole, so I can’t see it on a large scale) or,
  • get the ECB to print.
And thus I think inflation, rampant and long-term as the UK engages in de facto devaluation as we also print to avoid having Sterling “over-valued”'
Say goodbye to your savings...

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Tuesday morning catchup - a Man Made Climate Change special

1) Bishop Hill reports some odd coincidences in the reporting and publicising of Climate Change including on the BBC.

2) Watts Up With That has the text of a must read speech:
'Matt Ridley has graciously allowed me to repost his speech in entirety here. It follows below. If there’s one speech about the climate debate worth reading in your lifetime, this is it. Andrew Montford of Bishop Hill has also formatted the speech into a PDF file, with an improved version, better graphics, A5 format for printing by Mike Haesler here Ridley_RSA (PDF)  suitable for emailing, printing, and snail mail. Distribute both as widely as possible. The lecture was delivered with slides, Dr. Ridley has sent me the ones he considers key, and I have inserted them . For background on this prestigious lecture, here is the lecture web page, and here is what RSA is all about and the history since 1754.'
Here are a few of excerpts from the speech:
'What sustains pseudoscience is confirmation bias. We look for and welcome the evidence that fits our pet theory; we ignore or question the evidence that contradicts it. We all do this all the time. It’s not, as we often assume, something that only our opponents indulge in. I do it, you do it, it takes a superhuman effort not to do it. That is what keeps myths alive, sustains conspiracy theories and keeps whole populations in thrall to strange superstitions.

Bertrand Russell* pointed this out many years ago: “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.”

Lesson number 5: keep a sharp eye out for confirmation bias in yourself and others.


Experts are worse at forecasting the future than non-experts.
Philip Tetlock did the definitive experiment. He gathered a sample of 284 experts – political scientists, economists and journalists – and harvested 27,450 different specific judgments from them about the future then waited to see if they came true. The results were terrible. The experts were no better than “a dart-throwing chimpanzee”.
Here’s what the Club of Rome said on the rear cover of the massive best-seller Limits to Growth in 1972*:
“Will this be the world that your grandchildren will thank you for? A world where industrial production has sunk to zero. Where population has suffered a catastrophic decline. Where the air, sea and land are polluted beyond redemption. Where civilization is a distant memory. This is the world that the computer forecasts.”
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”, said Richard Feynman.
Lesson 6. Never rely on the consensus of experts about the future. Experts are worth listening to about the past, but not the future. Futurology is pseudoscience.


I am not a “denier”. I fully accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the climate has been warming and that man is very likely to be at least partly responsible. When a study was published recently saying that 98% of scientists “believe” in global warming, I looked at the questions they had been asked and realized I was in the 98%, too, by that definition, though I never use the word “believe” about myself. Likewise the recent study from Berkeley, which concluded that the land surface of the continents has indeed been warming at about the rate people thought, changed nothing.

So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.


I was not always such a “lukewarmer”. In the mid 2000s one image in particular played a big role in making me abandon my doubts about dangerous man-made climate change: the hockey stick*. It clearly showed that something unprecedented was happening. I can remember where I first saw it at a conference and how I thought: aha, now there at last is some really clear data showing that today’s temperatures are unprecedented in both magnitude and rate of change – and it has been published in Nature magazine.

Yet it has been utterly debunked by the work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. I urge you to read Andrew Montford’s careful and highly readable book The Hockey Stick Illusion*. Here is not the place to go into detail, but briefly the problem is both mathematical and empirical. The graph relies heavily on some flawed data – strip-bark tree rings from bristlecone pines — and on a particular method of principal component analysis, called short centering, that heavily weights any hockey-stick shaped sample at the expense of any other sample. When I say heavily – I mean 390 times.'
 There is so much more in this article, do read it all.

3) Watts Up With That has a long article reporting this Greenwire article that asks:
‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?”

Monday 21 November 2011

Life is a learning experience

How did I get to this advanced age and only tonight realise that if you put sausages under the grill resting in line with the grill pan's lines then they don't roll over as they do when you place them across the lines?

I wonder what I will learn tomorrow...

I am not alone

Following this morning's post about children in restaurants I was intrigued to receive a link to an article on Love Food's Top Five Restaurant Nightmares which whilst not listing noisy children as one of the five, did include the mention of a 'wailing child' in the article. So far there are two comments and one would seem to be from a kindred spirit:
'Likewise bratty kids. Ask a member of staff to ask the doting (and usually simpering) parents (alright, usually a dopey-looking mother) to keep their offending and offensive offspring confined to their own table and at a volume none of the rest of us has to suffer. After all, I don't bring my meowing moggies to dine with me....

Yes, I am Mrs Grumpy, I admit it. But I pay to enjoy my food, and that includes the ambience....'
Mrs Grumpy, I know how you feel!

Monday morning catchup - a Barack Obama scandal special

1) Arizona Central  report on a scandal that the Obama supporting media just will not cover:
'The Obama administration, which gave the solar company Solyndra a half-billion-dollar loan to help create jobs, asked the company to delay announcing it would lay off workers until after the hotly contested November 2010 midterm elections that imperiled Democratic control of Congress, newly released e-mails show.'
Have you heard the BBC even mention Solyndra?

2) Andre Breitbart in Big Government has news of an even bigger scandal:
'At least ten members of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign finance committee, plus more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers, benefited from sweetheart loans through the Department of Energy (DOE) that collectively dwarfed those given to Solyndra and Fisker.

Investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, who is also a Breitbart editor, reveals the full extent of the DOE scandal in his explosive new book, Throw Them All Out. The book is featured in this week’s Newsweek, and was the subject of 60 Minutes this past Sunday, Nov. 13.'
If true this is potential political  dynamite not that you would know if you rely on the BBC for your news.

Children in restaurants and other shared public places

I am fed up to the back teeth with noisy children in restaurants and other public places. Obviously the ideal would be to have child-free areas where civilized adults could enjoy intelligent conversation without the cries of mewling brats. Failing that how about this that I found on the web:
'We welcome well-behaved children, when accompanied by an adult, but we may ask to seat families in designated areas.'
I shall carry printouts of this from now on to give as suggestions to restaurateurs who think that screaming babies and badly behaved children are in some way appropriate for their venue.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Will Saif Gaddafi spill the beans?

If Saif Gaddafi ever goes on trial I wonder if he will shed some light on the business relationships he is reputed to have had with Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and others. Alex Masterley has his own question:
'One of the more interesting asects of the upcoming trial of Saif-al Islam Gaddhaffi will be if we find out whether in 2006 former Prime Minister Blair became an adviser to the Libyan Investment Authority, a £40 billion fund established by the Gaddafis. '

Some graphs and charts that should scare the living daylights out of you

Zero Hedge's EU economic roundup is a scary read with charts and graphs that speak for themselves. Here's one to whet your appetite...
'All benefits from the creation of the euro have been erased: Spreads above levels prevailing before the euro's birth'

Saturday 19 November 2011

What drink goes with that music?

What should I drink whilst listening to .... ? It's a good question and now Drinkify have the answers, some of which are genius:
Don’t listen to Kylie Minogue alone. We suggest…
“The Kylie Minogue”

* 8 oz. Absinthe
* 8 oz. Wheatgrass juice

Combine in shaker and strain into cocktail glass. Serve.
I think I'd need more than absinthe to listen to Kylie...

The eyes have it

I wasn't going to comment on the Saudi Arabian decision this week that women with attractive eyes in Saudi Arabia may be forced to cover them up, according to the spokesperson of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) in the conservative Gulf kingdom. A spokesman of the Ha’eal district, Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet said the committee has the right to stop a women whose eyes seem “tempting” and order her to cover them immediately.

I wasn't going to comment on the ruling as it was so obviously ridiculous and typical of the vile brand of Islamist theology that infects that country but then Alex Masterley reminded me of what the Saudi Arabian Islamist's views on the 'virtue' of women has led to in the past:
'In 2002, the committee refused to let female students out of their burning schools in Mecca for “not wearing the proper head cover,” which contributed to a large number of dead. 15 young girls died in the fire and dozens more were injured. The CPVPV men banned the firemen and policemen from accessing the girls as “it is not okay for girls to be seen without their full Islamic dress in front of strangers.”'
I just couldn't let that go unmentioned on this blog.

Saif Gaddafi's connections with New Labour and the liberal elite glossed over

'However, at one time he was considered one of the more liberal of Col Gaddafi's sons and was courted in the West.'
That's the only line alluding to Saif Gaddafi's previous courting by such as Peter Mandelson and the LSE in the BBC article about his arrest. Somehow I think if it was a bloodthirsty tyrant who had previously associated with leading Conservative politicians the BBC's coverage would be less muted.

Whitewashing Islam - 20 errors on 20/20 ABC News - Spotting the false claims and misrepresentations

The above video takes to task just one ABC News programme but the 'errors' made by ABC are similar to those I have heard on the BBC and elsewhere. And the payoff line in this video is that the BBC are next...

I found the video very interesting and if you are going to criticise it for being Islamophobic, and I know some of you will, please point out where it is incorrect in fact not just contrary to your liberal opinions.

For more from David you could follow his You Tube Channel - Acts17Apologetics or take a trip to

"Springtime for Merkel and Germany, Meltdown for Ireland and Greece"

Richard Littlejohn in The Mail has written a lovely reworking of Mel Brooks' classic from The Producers 'Springtime for Hitler'. It's rather funny and well done...

The Eurozone is having trouble, what a sad, sad story,
Europe needs a leader to restore its  former glory,
Where, oh where, is she?
Right here, in Germany.
She’s the one we need right now,
The original Iron Frau.
And so it’s . . .
Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
Meltdown for Ireland and Greece,
We’re marching forward to bankruptcy,
Watching the death of democracy . . .

Showtime for President Sarkozy,
The markets are downgrading France,
Bang goes the doomed single currency,
Come on Germans, go into your dance.
In East Berlin, the volk are hurtin’
Should have stayed behind the Iron Curtain.
Don’t be stupid, be a smarty
Forget the Bunga Bunga Party.
Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
Riots in Lisbon and Spain,
Berlusconi is toppled in Italy,
And Deutschland is rising again . . .

Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
Bail-outs for Europe’s bust banks,
Billions of euros gone down the drain,
Come on Germans, start revving your tanks.
Listen to Angela’s sermon
All of Europe’s speaking German.
Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
Doomsday for Athens and Rome,
You don’t want to make us your enemy,
We’re creating a brand new hegemony . . .

Crunch time for Britain and Cameron,
Protests on the steps of St Paul’s,
The Tories want out of the Union,
But Cleggy’s got Dave by the . . .
Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
Panic on Wall Street and the DAX,
The Bundesbank’s final solution is,
Make the City of London pay tax.

Come on Mervyn, be a honey,
Give us all the City’s money.

Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
We’re building a new Fourth Reich,
This shouldn’t come as a mystery,
Not if you study your history . . .

(Grand finale)
And so it’s . . .
Springtime for Merkel and Germany,
The euro is dead on the floor,
Frankfurt is dictating policy,
And soon we’ll be going,
Yes, we are going,
It looks like we’re going to war!

Friday 18 November 2011

"What in God's name gives you the right?"

Nigel Farage in fine form embarrassing the unelected EU gerontocracy. In effect a coup has taken place in Italy, an elected government has been replaced by an unelected one, and yet the cries of the democracy loving left are all but inaudible. The BBC are a news organisation whose democracy loving instincts seem to have been put on hold as they have not complained about the stifling of democracy in Italy.

The EUSSR and the BBC; totalitarian by instinct and anti-democratic in practice.

Obama misspeaks again and the BBC pay no heed

Every verbal mistake of George W. Bush was reported and held to ridicule by the BBC but when Obama says that Hawaii is in Asia... not a word. Just like the 57 States comment and the others that I have reported. The BBC's love affair with Barack Obama blinds them and prevents them from unbiased reporting.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Why can't the UK be more like Norway?

Nigel Farage thinks we should be and that David Cameron has admitted that we can leave the EU and still have a trade agreement with it via the EEA.

Is anti-Zionism the same as anti-Semitism?

"I am not anti-Semitic, I am just an anti-Zionist" so say the kind of people who lay all the problems of the Middle East (and often the whole world) on Israel and give the Palestinians a free pass on thir avowed hatred for Israel and calls for the killing of Jews.

I wonder how they would react to these words of Martin Luther King Jnr?

"Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism"

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

". . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth. "Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so.

"Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them. 

"The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested--DEMANDED the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country. 

"How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel. All men of good will exult in the fulfilment of God's promise, that his People should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land.

This is Zionism, nothing more, nothing less.

"And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is antisemitism.

"The antisemite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the antisemite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!

"My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."
From M.L. King Jr., "Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend," Saturday Review_XLVII (Aug. 1967), p. 76.
Reprinted in M.L. King Jr., "This I Believe: Selections from the Writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

"We are all Hamas now" - No we are not

There are certain idiots who scream "We are all Hamas now" as they protest at the latest anti-Israel event. If you are one of those fools then, yes I pity you. But whilst you shout your support for an organisation that fires rockets at Israel, happy to kill as many Jews as possible and wants to erase Israel from the Middle East, I am proud to say "I am Israel".

Wednesday 16 November 2011

The BBC caught out

I am sure if you read this blog you also read Biased-BBC but just in case you don't I suggest you read this.

Ah bless the BBC don't quite see what is happening

The BBC report on the 'Palestinian 'freedom riders'' and it's a classic BBC report. I am a bit short of time, so here's the report and I will pick out just a few highlights...

'Israeli police have detained six Palestinians dubbed West Bank Freedom Riders who boarded a Jerusalem-bound bus used by Jewish settlers.

The activists say they drew inspiration from 1960s US civil rights demonstrators who campaigned under the same name against segregated buses.

Palestinians from the West Bank are not allowed to cross into Jerusalem without Israeli permission.

Israel says such restrictions are for security reasons.

The group of six protesters gathered at a West Bank bus stop and waited for an Israeli bus to pick them up, then tried to enter Jerusalem, in what appears to be a first.

After being allowed to travel to an Israeli checkpoint at the edge of Jerusalem, the activists were eventually arrested when they refused to leave the bus.

The protesters say that by only serving Jewish settlements and not Palestinian areas in the West Bank, Israeli bus companies discriminate against them.

"These buses and this whole system is discriminatory to Palestinians," said activist Fadi Quran, as he waited at the bus stop.

The West Bank Freedom Riders punched above their weight, drawing a lot of publicity for what was a relatively small event, reports the BBC's Jon Donnison in the West Bank.

The comparison to the Freedom Riders of 1960s America seemed to capture the imagination as dozens of journalists gathered to see the small group board the bus, our correspondent says.

In actual fact, this was less a protest about segregation and more about freedom of movement, he adds.

There are around 500,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Settlements are illegal under international law although Israel disputes this. '
The protesters and the BBC are using this story as a way of pushing the lie that is the 'apartheid state' meme. Israel is not an apartheid state and I have proved that in several earlier posts. However back to the lines that struck me:
'Israel says such restrictions are for security reasons.' - How could anyone argue with that? Have the BBC not heard of Hamas and the PLO and their avowed aim to kill as many Jews as possible and not rest until Israel is no more?

'The West Bank Freedom Riders punched above their weight, drawing a lot of publicity for what was a relatively small event, reports the BBC's Jon Donnison in the West Bank.' - Now how has the protest punched above its weight? Could it be because such as the BBC are giving it publicity?

'There are around 500,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Settlements are illegal under international law although Israel disputes this.' - The standard rubric that I will address shortly...

Tuesday 15 November 2011

'The BBC have ruled “that commercial, financial or other interests may have influenced the editorial judgments in these programmes.”'

Guido Fawkes has the details and they are shocking for anyone who still thinks the BBC are unbiased.
'Perhaps most damning is the fact that a BBC World documentary about climate change was sponsored by green crusaders Envirotrade. And of course “Envirotrade was featured in a positive light in the programme but viewers were unaware that there was a funding arrangement in place.” The BBC have ruled “that commercial, financial or other interests may have influenced the editorial judgments in these programmes.”'
Thanks to The Independent and Guido Fawkes for bringing this news to us.

Here's the BBC's take on the story

The BBC is to impose tougher rules on sponsored programmes broadcast by its commercial channels, after 15 shows were found to have breached guidelines.

The programmes were all shown on BBC World News available outside the UK.

Among those found in breach were shows about Malaysia, produced by FBC, a UK firm that had an "apparent financial relationship" with the government.

However, the BBC Editorial Standards Committee said none of the programmes breached guidelines on impartiality.

Nonetheless, the committee regarded the policy breaches as "serious editorial failings" and said they "risked undermining the editorial integrity of [the BBC's] output".

Richard Porter, head of English at BBC Global News, said staff would pay heed to the findings.
"We must not damage the audience's trust in what we broadcast," he wrote in a public blog post. "We know we have some hard work to do to make up for this, but we are determined to do so."

Meanwhile, broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has confirmed it is launching its own investigation into the programmes.

The committee was particularly concerned by a statement on FBC's website, which read: "FBC regularly creates one off productions as well as series of documentaries that investigate our clients' issues and subtly position them in a positive space within their target markets".


As a result of the committee's findings, the BBC is to implement new rules, including the following:
  • BBC World News will no longer commission or acquire programmes which are sponsored by non-commercial organisations (such as charitable foundations or non-aligned international bodies such as UN agencies)
  • BBC World News will not commission or acquire programming at nominal cost, but will instead buy shows on a transparent commercial basis.
  • BBC World News will only commission or acquire sponsored programmes in non-news and current affairs genres including sport, culture, history, travel and lifestyle.
  • BBC World News will introduce tighter approval procedures for programming containing funding from third parties.
  • A follow-up audit will be commissioned to confirm the effectiveness of the new controls.
"International audiences must be able to rely on the same integrity and independence in the BBC's editorial decisions as audiences in the UK," said Richard Ayre, who chaired the meeting of the Editorial Standards Committee.

In a statement, a spokesperson for BBC World News said the channel accepted the findings.

"We are committed to the highest standards of broadcasting and our editorial independence must always remain protected," the statement read.

"We are determined to learn any lessons from this process. That is why we have set out a robust action plan... to tighten our systems and strengthen the protection of our editorial independence."'
A few lines jump out at me. 
First that 'the BBC Editorial Standards Committee said none of the programmes breached guidelines on impartiality.' yet 'The committee was particularly concerned by a statement on FBC's website, which read: "FBC regularly creates one off productions as well as series of documentaries that investigate our clients' issues and subtly position them in a positive space within their target markets".

Second that  'BBC World News will no longer commission or acquire programmes which are sponsored by non-commercial organisations (such as charitable foundations or non-aligned international bodies such as UN agencies)' - Why did the BBC ever think that was good practice?

Third that 'BBC World News will not commission or acquire programming at nominal cost, but will instead buy shows on a transparent commercial basis.' - Once again why is this only now being considered.

The final comment is one that I have to agree with,'Richard Ayre, who chaired the meeting of the Editorial Standards Committee said that "International audiences must be able to rely on the same integrity and independence in the BBC's editorial decisions as audiences in the UK,"- They can Mr Ayre, they can. International audiences can indeed rely on the BBC's complete lack of integrity around certain issues and its symbiotic relationship with many left-of-centre organisations, pressure groups etc.

Oh the irony

Richard Herring's programme on Radio 4 tonight Richard Herring's Objective Episode 2: 'The Wheelchair' was not something I was particularly looking forward to, obviously right-on humour being somewhat anathema to me. But I was driving home and so gave it a go. Poor, weak humour and then this... Guest comedian Francesca Martinez, who has cerebral palsy, was given space to perform. She told us that some comedians whose careers were slacking used words like 'mong' and 'retard' for cheap laughs. She went on to say that she didn't like the term cerebral palsy preferring the word 'wobbly'. Ms Martinez went on to provide some other better alternatives for conditions, I can't remember them all, here's a few 'claustrophobic' - 'loves the outdoors', and then the punchline 'mentally retared' - 'Sarah Palin'. The audience reacted as I would have expected from a Richard Herring/Radio 4 audience, they laughed in a Pavlovian type response at the very words 'Sarah Palin'; the BBC and other left-wing media have done their job well in destroying that particular right-of-centre politician.

I wonder did Francesca Martinez spot the irony in her act?

What is wrong with the UK's Prison Service?

Even when a criminal is jailed for his crimes, and it seems to take a long time for the criminal courts to get to that stage, it seems that the Prison Service runs a less than tight ship. Here's a report from the BBC that I am quoting as I cannot find the Telegraph article, that I read in the paper on Sunday, online today.

A judge has criticised a prison for releasing a drugs baron on home leave 13 months into a six-year jail term.
Judge Peter Jacobs branded the situation a "farce" after Mohammed Rafiq, from Dudley in the West Midlands, failed to attend a hearing at Norwich Crown Court.

It emerged Rafiq, 35, had been sent home from prison for the weekend.

The judge asked Norwich Prison officials to explain the decision in court - but said he had been ignored.
Judge Jacobs said: "So far, nobody from the Prison Service has arrived. If they do arrive, I will hear what they have to say with interest."

He had expected the prison to bring the defendant to court on Thursday for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Instead, it emerged that former taxi driver Rafiq had been allowed to return to his home for the weekend, 13 months into his sentence.


"I will want an explanation in public as to how a man serving a six-year sentence is allowed to go on home leave, despite the fact he is supposed to be here today.


Rafiq was part of a gang who ran a network of cannabis factories capable of producing drugs with a street value of about £1m each year.

He managed five cannabis farms in Norwich and several in the Midlands.

Rafiq is serving a six-year sentence after admitting conspiracy to supply controlled drugs in 2010.

He is currently held in Britannia House, the open resettlement unit at Norwich Prison.'
So sentenced to six years in prison Mr Rafiq is held in an 'open resettlement unit' and allowed home  for the weekend. Has any pretence that prisons should be for partly for punishment now been jettisoned? Sometimes the way this country operates its judicial system makes me feel sick.

Monday 14 November 2011

So where is the BBC's faux outrage

When news broke about the relaxation of UK border controls since the 2010 general election the BBC were all over the story and gave plenty of publicity to the calls for Teresa May's resignation. The outrage was fake of course, as the BBC seem to support unfettered immigration, but any excuse to attack the Conservative government. This morning I note that the BBC news website has still yet to report the claims in The Telegraph over the weekend that:
'All but the most cursory checks were abandoned on passengers on British-registered coaches as they arrived at Dover, Britain's biggest port.

Instead of passports being scanned electronically, border guards checked that the picture matched the holder. 
It means they were not cross-checked to a computer database to establish if the holder was a wanted terrorist, criminal or immigration offender.

The policy was in place for four years after being introduced when Labour was in power, but never disclosed to Parliament.

It was implemented because the French complained about congestion in Calais caused by backlogs at passport control.
Ministers discovered the scheme earlier this month and ended it ten days ago when the Border Agency official in charge of the southern ports was suspended, along with Brodie Clark, the director of the UK Border Force, who was accused of relaxing passport checks at airports on non-European Union citizens without ministers' permission.'
So for the BBC a brief period of relaxed controls at UK airports under a Conservative lead coalition government (but without the agreement of the government) is major news but the revelation that Labour relaxed controls for four years at far less secure anyway channel ports  is not even worthy of a mention. It is almost as though the BBC were trying to attack the Conservatives and protect their Labour  party friends.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Don't ask, just don't ask

Sorry for lack of postings today. Did try and post one about BBC and immigration faux outrage but it disappeared. Since then 'don't ask, just don't ask...'

Saturday 12 November 2011

Tackling inconsistencies in the BBC's responses to a complaint

Further to this piece I have written to the BBC asking how they explain the two widely differing answers to my original complaint.

'Thank you for your reply and for the admission that there was something very wrong with the first map. I still do not see why the second map could not have been either larger in size or of a smaller scale to show the true border situation but I guess that is something that we will not agree on.

What does interest me is this. You have apologised for the first map, for which I gracefully thank you. However on 17 August a reply from the same group email address addressed my complaint about the first map like this:
'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.'

Why did the first responder so answer my complaint if you believe the map was 'plain shoddy work, for which we apologise. It should mark Egypt.'? 

How can the BBC send two such different responses to the same complaint?

Which response from the BBC should I accept as being the BBC's actual view on this matter?

Kind regards

NotaSheep maybeaGoat'
I await a response, or maybe two!

Why no interest on the BBC?

The BBC were obsessed with the cash for questions row in the 1990s, an affair that was concerned with Conservative politicians. The BBC reported very heavily the expenses row as broken by The Telegraph, although they did noticeably concentrate on the Conservative rather more than the labour culprits; duck ponds and moat cleaning being funnier than the more larger expenses claims from such as Gerald Kaufman.

The BBC seem to have taken no interest in the revelations on Guido Fawkes' site that some Labour MPs are receiving campaign contributions from Trade Unions and in return are directly amending legislation. Kate Green has been caught bang to rights and even apologised to Parliament about it but I can find no mention of this story on the BBC news website at all; I wonder why?

Why were there no protests by 'Palestinians' against foreign occupation of Gaza and the West Bank from 1949 to 1967? Alternatively, why was no Palestinoian stat formed in West Bank and Gaza in 1949?

Makes you wonder? I wonder what the BBC would say to such information?

A very poor defence - my response

Further to this post from last night I have responded...

'Nearly seven months for a response to a complaint, I would say that was far far too long.

I am a little confused by your reply for two reasons. First because although you say that ideally you would have reported Hamas' comments, I note that you have still not added them to the original page; why not?

Secondly you say that '
Mr Abbas is the Palestinian President and he governs in the area in which the murders took place.' I thought that under the terms of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and Fatah/PLO Itamar was designated as an area under full Israeli civil and security control. Please could you explain your point.

I trust that you will manage a reply to this email in somewhat less than seven months this time.

Kind regards

NotaSheep MaybeaGoat'
I wonder how long I will have to wait for a response and what the BBC excuse will be this time...

Friday 11 November 2011

A very poor defence

The BBC have finally managed to respond to my complaint about the BBC's reporting of Palestinian reaction to the brutal murder of the Fogel family. Here's my original complaint from 18 April this year (almost seven months ago):
'Your news piece about the arrest of two Palestinians for the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family includes this: 'The murders were greeted with revulsion in Israel and were condemned by Palestinian leaders as well. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called them "immoral and inhuman".' OK that's the Palestinian Authority, what about Hamas? Here's what Hamas said to its Arab speaking audience: 'Five Zionist usurpers were killed the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2011, in a knife-stabbing carried out by a Palestinian in the usurper (settlement) of Itamar east of the city of Nablus. Our correspondent in Nablus reported that a Palestinian mujahid was able to break into the usurper (settlement) of “Itamar” south of Nablus in the occupied (West) Bank, and stabbed five Zionist usurpers. Zionist media sources said that “A Palestinian broke into the usurper (settlement) between the hours of 9:30 – 11:00 PM, and killed five usurpers from one family while they were sleeping.” They confirmed that the perpetrator of the act was able to escape.' Doesn't sound like a condemnation to me, how about you? So why are the BBC misleading the British people? Or did you not know what Hamas said about the murder of the Fogel family? If the latter is the case then you do now so please report what Hamas have said.
And the BBC's considered response?
'Dear Sir,

We are very sorry to have taken so long to respond to your email regarding  Ideally, we should have reported Hamas' comments.  There was obviously a range of Palestinian reaction. In our defence, Mr Abbas is the Palestinian President and he governs in the area in which the murders took place.

Best regards,
Middle East desk'
Can you spot the mistake?

Complaining to the BBC - yes it's re Israel again

Complaint type: BBC News
Location: England
What is your complaint about: BBC News Online
Address of the page:
Complaint category: Factual Error or Inaccuracy
Complaint summary: Report still reporting untruths a week after the truth emerged
Full complaint: Your news website is still reporting that 'Israel boards protest boats taking medical aid to Gaza The Israeli navy has intercepted and boarded two boats which were trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Canadian and Irish boats with 27 activists from the US and eight other countries on board had set sail from Turkey on Wednesday. They were carrying medical supplies for the coastal enclave. ' Are you not aware that a) inspection of the boats at Ashdod port showed no cargo was aboard - report here -,7340,L-4143893,00.html b) the boat's Canadian captain confirmed that no medical supplies were being carried when questionned before the boarding of the boat - 
If the BBC's correspondent was not aware of this fact at the time of filing their original report, are they really unaware a week later? Why has the truth not been reported? Why have the BBC not even reported that the true position regarding the carrying of medical supplies is disputed? 
The BBC has a journalistic responsibility to report facts without favour, by not updating the article with relevant information are you not failing in that responsibility?
Receive a reply: Yes
Contacted us before: Yes
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I complained  this time under the banner of 'Factual Error or Inaccuracy' rather than 'Bias' to see if the response is any different.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Thank heavens for Gordon Brown not being Prime Minister any more and Ed Balls not being anywhere near the Treasury

10 year government bonds when the coalition came to power 11/5/2010: UK 3.97%, Italy 3.92%. Now UK 2.26%, Italy 7.00%.

What if we had had a continuation of the last Labour government's wasteful spending and insane borrowing plans?

A question for Ed Balls?

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Are the Conservative Eurosceptics really Eurosceptics

The Boiling Frog has worked out that Conservative 'Eurosceptics' are nothing of the sort and uses a football analogy to explain why:
I have supported my team for over 25 years, in that time I’ve criticised players, managers and the board but every year I still renew my season ticket. That makes me a supporter not a sceptic. And the same is true of Tories, despite the criticism of some aspects of the EU, when that EU season ticket renewal comes up they gleefully renew. They are supporters not sceptics.
What a great explanation of the 'Eurosceptic' mindset. Should real Eurosceptics stay in the Conservative party?

Thanks to Autonomous Mind for the quotation spot.

"When I was aiding the revolution, being Jewish was just fine with them. Suddenly they wanted me to discard my Jewish identity?"

This is the text of an article that I read earlier today and sums so much of how Jews are viewed in so much of the Muslim world. It is sad but true that many Muslims in the Middle East and beyond do not hate Jews because of Israel but rather hate Israel because it is Jewish.

Do find the time to read the whole of this piece, I found it very moving....

Almost a martyr
By Eliezer Schulman and Michal Ish-Shalom

Dr. David Gerbi in the Libyan synagogue which he almost lost his life

Dr. David Gerbi, a Libyan-born, observant psychologist living in Italy, spent the summer in a Libyan rebel encampment, joining the revolutionary forces and providing them psychiatric care. But their gratitude didn't last for long. He was nearly lynched and then booted out of the country when he tried to clean up a desecrated synagogue that hadn't seen a Jew since Muammar Gaddafi took over the country 42 years ago.

Dr. Gerbi, international director of the World Organization of Libyan Jews, was the first Jew to cast his lot with the Libyan rebels when he joined the Benghazi Psychiatric Hospital staff to teach the techniques of healing post-traumatic stress disorder among the fighters. Throughout the summer, Dr. Gerbi, holed up with the revolutionaries, assisted rebel leaders in formulating strategies and restoring unity within their ranks when internal conflicts arose.

After Gaddafi was ousted, the interim government, the National Transitional Council, talked about giving him a position in the soon-to-be-formed parliament, as an official voice for religious tolerance in a country run by an extremist despot for four decades.

Although the new Libya is struggling for a more democratic identity, Gaddafi's 42-year rule succeeded in brainwashing the public with virulent anti-Semitism, propagating the myth that the Jews absconded with the country's wealth to Israel — when in reality Gaddafi had kicked out all the Jews who remained after the Arab riots of the 1960s. He then confiscated all Jewish property, worth about $500 million, adding it to his private fortune estimated at $200 billion, which he amassed by embezzling Libya's wealth.

While Gerbi waited for a new government to take shape, he decided to spend the High Holidays in Libya. For Rosh Hashanah, he traveled to Tripoli along with the rebels, where he was to deliver letters from the World Organization of Libyan Jews to Mustafa Abdul Jalil, leader of the revolution and president of the interim government. At that point, he was being treated as a future member of parliament.
But a man like David Gerbi is not one to idle away his precious days in the newly freed country of Libya. Gerbi sought to become the first Jew to pray in the abandoned, decaying Dar Bishi synagogue in Tripoli, where his forebears had prayed. That simple act of devotion proved that undoing Gaddafi's work would not be simple after all.

When Dr. Gerbi peered into the interior of the synagogue, he was confronted by a horrifying sight. The entrance was blocked by a brick wall, and the house of prayer that had displayed its glory before the expulsion of Libya's Jews had turned into a den of iniquity, a place desecrated by society's degenerates. Piles of refuse were strewn throughout the sanctuary.

"When I entered the shul, the first words that came out were charam kabir — a grave offense. I could not tolerate that G0d's Name had been defaced in such a way," Dr. Gerbi told Mishpacha on his return to Rome.

Dr. Gerbi activated the connections that he had amassed in the previous months, including four sheikhs, to clean out the synagogue. "I spoke with the police force and with members of the army who knew me. We were all friendly after all the time I had spent in the area. They permitted me to clean out the shul and to pray there."
The only way to remove the accumulated trash was to demolish the wall that blocked the synagogue's doorway. "I bought equipment for ten people to work together — brooms, hammers, work tools, and cleaning supplies." In the meantime, a team of photographers and journalists stood by as Gerbi brandished his sledgehammer and struck the wall repeatedly. Perspiration streamed from his brow; the job wasn't easy. At one point, Gerbi even burst into tears and promised that he would not allow himself to be broken until he entered the shul and carried out his mission.

It was now less than a week before the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippue. Dr. Gerbi had set a goal of rendering the synagogue usable by the end of the week. He recruited a team of six additional men and paid them each 4,000 dinars. He also brought his own Book of Psalms and a sign inscribed with the phrase "Shivisi Hashem l'negdi tamid -- I place the Divine before always, that is traditionally mounted in many synagogues.

Gerbi spoke with Sheikh Jamal, one of the most influential religious figures in the new Libya. The sheikh agreed to the shul's restoration and agreed to accompany Gerbi on his visit to the cleaned-up shul.


The day before Yom Kippur, Gerbi entered the synagogue and lit three traditional lanterns. While he was in the middle of a silent prayer, "a group of Libyans ran inside and told me armed men were coming and planning to stab me to death," he recounts. "I was standing there and praying, and I said, 'I am not leaving. First I want to say Psalms.' That actually kept my fear level down. Meanwhile, the sheikh arrived, agitated; I was praying and he was panicking. He urged me to leave, and said that he wanted all the journalists to leave the shul. Then chaos began.

"I said, 'Just a few more pages and I'm done. Then I'll leave calmly. If G0d wants me to die within the sanctity of a shul, I am prepared for that, but I will not disgrace G0d's Name. I am trying to sanctify His name here.' In the meantime, people advised me to escape through the back door. For my part, I said, 'I'm going to leave through the front door, as is appropriate, with self-respect — because I am not acting only out of respect for myself, but out of respect for all Jews. I will honor the Jewish People this way. This is a shul, and I will not demonstrate disrespect for the Jewish Nation.' The sheikh then said I could leave through the front. I said, 'Come, let us go out together,' but even he suddenly grew afraid and ran out the back door."

Gerbi was driven by the desire to prove that a change had taken place in Libya, that the revolution he had assisted had not been in vain, that Gaddafi's rule had ended from the Jewish perspective as well. In an interview with a CNN correspondent after the event, Gerbi explained that if Libya were to undergo a democratization process, it had to include the recognition that Jews had lived and thrived in Libya for 2,300 years before they were evicted, a fact that Libyans who had grown up after the Jewish expulsion could not swallow.

"In the Arab countries," Gerbi says, "the Jews have always fled from the Arabs." That is the situation he wants to change. "I wanted to show that this time the Jews are not afraid. That's why I walked around with a black yarmulke on my head and with my tzitzis (ritual fringes) blowing in the wind. The Psalms I recited helped me feel my faith in G0d in the midst of the pogrom that was developing around me."
When Gerbi finally emerged from the synagogue, the security personnel who were protecting the journalists were waiting for him. He then broke down in a torrent of tears. "Why was it necessary to hate the Jews? What was my crime in wanting to daven [pray] in a shul and to clean it? I couldn't understand or accept what had happened," Gerbi relates bitterly.

David Gerbi's one-man act of religious sensitivity created an outburst of latent anti-Semitism. On Yom Kippur eve, the anti-Gerbi protests reached Benghazi, where a huge rally against him took place. At the same time, a massive protest was held at Tripoli Square, along with another one below the luxury Corinthia Hotel where he was staying. It was the night of Yom Kippur. For five hours, hundreds of people shouted that they wanted Gerbi to come downstairs; they wanted to seize him and kill him.

"When I was aiding the revolution, being Jewish was just fine with them. Suddenly they wanted me to discard my Jewish identity?" he says, still hurting. "I refused to give in on this point. I was born in Libya and I am Jewish. The Italian consul called and begged me, 'Come; run away. People will come to rescue you.' The hotel staff and officials from the government also came, but I insisted that I would not move from the spot, because it was Yom Kippur, and I remained there. I decided that if G0d had decreed for me to die during the 10 Days of Repentance, that was what would be. I didn't want to be a hero or a martyr," Gerbi emphasizes. "I only wanted what we deserved, our rights."

Gerbi emphasizes that he did not blindly risk his life without thinking. "I knew that if they did anything to me, the entire international community would be aware of it. The media was there. I understood that I had to leave, but I didn't want to run away. This was like the exodus from Egypt, when the Jews left in an honorable way, rather than escaping like thieves in the night. The ambassador, the government officials, and the hotel staff all begged me, 'You will be aiding the revolution if you leave.' They were afraid for the safety of the guests and the hotel workers. Ultimately, I agreed to evacuate by plane on the night before Sukkos (Tabernacles)."

Gerbi remained in his hotel room under de facto house arrest. "The protestors were waiting to pounce on me. I trusted no one, and I remained in my room. For security reasons, I switched rooms. I didn't answer the telephone, and I took various steps to mislead anyone who might be trailing me. I would take an elevator to the wrong floor and switch elevators in the middle, so that no one knew where I was. In the meantime, I was summoned to the police station; they claimed that I had entered an archaeological site without permission.

"This approach — that it's an archaeological site and therefore entry is prohibited — this came from Gaddafi," Gerbi deduces. "I said, 'All right, I'm prepared to be questioned.' They were incensed by my acquiescence. They had hoped that I would plead for my life.

"I was amazed that this hatred was spurting forth. Gaddafi had brainwashed the country to believe the Jews had fled to Israel with all of Libya's wealth. They didn't even know that any Jews had been born in Libya; they thought I had come from Israel to take over the country. That's how brainwashed they were. They asked me, 'Do you have an Israeli passport?' I said, 'No, I have an Italian passport,' and they didn't believe me. When I told them I had been born in Libya, they were shocked."


David Gerbi hasn't given up on his mission to salvage the Libyan Jewish heritage dating back to the third century Before the Common Era, and believes that, with Gaddafi's demise, it might again be possible. When Colonel Gaddafi came to power in 1969, the Jewish community of Libya had already been decimated

David Gerbi was 12 when his family was exiled from Tripoli, and he says that the trauma of that time — which he carried into adulthood — was what actually motivated him to enter the field of psychology.

"Suddenly, after the Six Day War, the Arabs began persecuting us. As a child, I didn't understand the reason, and it took me years to get over the inner turmoil of that time," Dr. Gerbi remembers. "Libya is close to Egypt, and Nasser encouraged the murder of Jews. They took over a portion of our property and placed a dividing wall on our porch, which I could not cross.

"So the entire community fled. Many went to Israel, but my parents fled to Italy. My father had been in the gold and diamond business; he left everything behind. Two years later, when Gaddafi came to power, he confiscated all Jewish property and prohibited Jews from reentering Libya.

Dr. Gerbi made several trips back to Libya before the revolution. In 2002, he succeeded in rescuing his aunt, the last Jew remaining in Gaddafi's domain; in 2007 he was invited to Libya by Gaddafi himself, after expressing his interest in visiting the land of his birth and restoring one of the synagogues located there, but he was quickly expelled; and in 2009, he met Gaddafi.

In 2009, Dr. Gerbi accepted an invitation to meet Gaddafi in Rome to speak about improving relations between the regime and Libya's exiled Jewish community. In recent years Gaddafi held irregular talks with Libyan Jews, preferring to deal with those in Italy over those who had settled in Israel, which he would vilify in overblown tirades. He had on occasion even promised to consider returning property rights, but nothing practical ever came of those talks.

"I can still see his face in front of me," Dr. Gerbi told a Jerusalem Post reporter on his return to Rome after the synagogue debacle. "He had the eyes of a Bedouin, someone who could find water in the desert, but he could not connect with our reality."

Dr. Gerbi still has hope for a democratic Libya but says the interim government has to make a choice — either to go with the hate-filled Islamists, or to open a new page in relations with the Jews.

"It's easy to get rid of Gaddafi the person," he said, "but much more difficult to get rid of the Gaddafi within."


With gunfire clearly audible over the telephone line, Dr. David Gerbi spoke with Mishpacha this summer from a rebel encampment outside Benghazi in eastern Libya, where he spent several months giving psychological assistance to the rebels and their families, and serving as an advisor to the revolution's National Transitional Council. Because of the sensitive nature of his position, the conversation could not be publicized until now.

Can you describe your function with the rebels?

"I, together with the staff I've trained, prepare the men for battle, give them encouragement, inculcate them with faith in the justness of their goals, and help them to avoid turning into human beasts, despite the tremendous tension on the battlefield. They are in a very delicate psychological condition, and we work hard to channel their anger and bitter feelings into the fight for justice and not into harming innocent people. We tone down the intoxication of power while developing the thirst for victory, and I consult at length with people who are close to Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the temporary leader of the revolution, in order to guarantee that the focus remains on the goal and that the message is transmitted in the appropriate way and the appropriate spirit.

"You have to remember that these rebels still do not know what democracy is. They are united by the desire to overthrow Gaddafi. The West will have to offer them assistance and guidance."

Do the people around you know that you're Jewish?

"I don't flaunt my Jewishness, but I assume that there are people around me who are aware of it. I don't hide it. When I daven (pray) with tefillin (ritual head gear) in the morning, anyone who sees me knows that I am Jewish. They also see that I don't pray with them."

How do you obtain kosher food?

"One can find fruits and vegetables everywhere. I also have a few cans of preserves. I removed the labels so that they would not know where I acquired them. I am managing. I am not hungry, but I am also not satiated."

Do the rebels know that there was once a large community in Libya?

"No. The new generation in Libya is completely ignorant of the fact that ancient Jewish communities existed here until a few decades ago and that they were forced to leave all of their property behind. I have had long conversations with many people who were surprised to hear about this."

Have there been times when you feared for your life?

"Certainly. I am not here on a pleasure trip. I am in a place where there is constant gunfire. The entrenched regime has tried, and continues to try, to crush the rebels and quash the revolution. Whatever forces of Gaddafi still remain here use every means at their disposal, including the most brutal ones. My job includes, among other things, offering psychological assistance to the people who suffered through the regime's brutal oppression."

What brings a respected psychologist and observant Jew to leave his comfortable life in Rome and travel to the battlefield in Libya, where his life might come to an end?

A long silence prevails at the other end of the line. Finally, Gerbi speaks. "It's too long to explain, but, as is the case in many of the decisions we make in our lives, there are personal emotions involved here as well. My decision to come here involved various burdens that I have been carrying since my childhood. You must recall that I am not actually on the battlefield. Most of the time I'm stationed in a hospital in Benghazi, and along with the psychiatric staff of the hospital, I help the freedom fighters heal men suffering from post-trauma who have returned from the front lines."

They say that you sit with the rebel leaders and advise them on how to ignite the enthusiasm of the fighters, how to calm the frightened residents, and how to gain their loyalty.

"Let us not exaggerate," Gerbi's smile is evident even over the crackling phone line. "It's true that I assist them, that I do my part, but I do not have a decisive influence over various processes. As a rule, Gaddafi's tyrannical regime and his family were bad for the people. The freedom fighters are providing a solution that comes from the people. That being said, there have been instances in which I was consulted regarding bringing justice to the streets of Libya, and then I expressed an opinion. There are no other psychologists, and that is where my staff and I come in. I can be of assistance here. But to paint me as one of the leaders of the rebel forces would be a gross exaggeration."

Are there Jews among the rebel soldiers?

"I have neither met nor heard of any."

How long do you intend to remain there?

The sound of gunfire interrupts our conversation, followed by a recorded message that the number is not available.