Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Daily Telegraph's defence editor: "When it comes to the crunch, the Germans are far from being reliable allies"

Why does the US consider it necessary to spy against Germany, supposedly one of its closest allies?The Telegraph's defence editor Con Coughlin gives a compelling answer:

We know, thanks to the treacherous activities of Edward Snowden, that America's NSA spy network regularly listened into the mobile phone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But that is small fry compared to the allegations now being made against the CIA, which is now accused of running two high-ranking agents at the heart of the Germany's security establishment.
And finding out what tactics the German football team might use in Sunday night's World Cup final is not what is on the spooks' agenda.
The reason I believe the CIA has agents working for the German defence ministry and intelligence service is that Washington – and indeed London – feel that, despite the fact Germany is supposed to be a leading member of the Western alliance, the Germans are not entirely trustworthy.
You only have to look at how the Germans responded to the recent crisis over Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea to see that Berlin is not always playing on the same side as the rest of us.
While other leading Western powers such as America and Britain were urging tough action against the Kremlin to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to back down – a policy that appears to have worked, by the way – Mrs Merkel seemed more interested in protecting Germany's business interests with Russia.
Nor is this the first time that Berlin has pulled in a different direction from the rest of the Western alliance. During the Libyan conflict three years ago the Germans sided with Moscow in opposing military action against Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and actively sought to undermine the Nato mission be refusing to provide vital air tankers to refuel Nato warplanes.
When it comes to the crunch, the Germans are far from being reliable allies, and understanding what the Germans are really up to is vital when it comes to making our own decisions about how to respond to global threats to our security, whether it is Mr Putin's military adventurism or Iran's obsession with building atom bombs.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The BBC is brainwashing its news staff to deny "climate deniers" access to airtime

A formerly venerable broadcasting organisation is wasting license payers' money on brainwashing its news staff to deny critics of global warming access to airtime:

Reporters for BBC News are being directed to significantly curb the amount of air time they give to people with anti-science viewpoints — including people who deny climate change exists — in order to improve the accuracy and fairness of the network’s news coverage, according to a report released by the BBC’s governing body on Thursday.
The BBC Trust’s report was designed to assess the network’s impartiality in science coverage, in other words, whether it is staying neutral on critical issues. In order to be neutral when covering science, however, the BBC noted it needs to avoid “false balance,” a fallacy that occurs when two sides of an argument are assumed to have equal value.

“Science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views but depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given,” the report said.
The type of “false balance” news segment that the BBC is now actively trying to avoid is one that is fairly common in American network news’ climate change coverage. It involves putting one person who is well-versed on climate science next to a person who denies climate science, and having them debate.
Editorially, this type of debate makes the network look like it’s being balanced, giving equal opportunity to opposite viewpoints. However, because 95 to 97 percent of climate scientists agree that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing the planet to warm, that balance is false, giving disproportionate time to a viewpoint that is widely rejected in the scientific community.
In order to have a truly balanced and statistically representative debate about climate change, television news networks would have to pit 97 climate scientists against three climate deniers. Because that likely wouldn’t work very well, the BBC is favoring an approach that instead severely limits the amount of air time climate deniers are given.
So far, the report said, approximately 200 staff members have attended seminars and workshops aimed at improving the balance of their science coverage.

Fortunately, more and more people have decided to "favour an approach" that severely limits the amount of time spent listening to or watching BBC programmes.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Merkel's socialist government bans fracking - a foot in the grave for Germany's free market economy

Angela Merkel's (de facto) socialist government is taking another step towards an even more complete dependence on dictator Putin's Gazprom:

BERLIN—Germany plans to halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over concerns that exploration techniques could pollute groundwater.
"There won't be [shale-gas] fracking in Germany for the foreseeable future," Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said Friday.
The planned regulations come amid a political standoff with Russia, Germany's main natural gas supplier, and following intensive lobbying from environmentalists and brewers concerned about possible drinking-water contamination.
The production of shale gas requires the application of the hydraulic fracturing technology known as fracking, which involves using a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to break apart rocks to release the gas. The government plans to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing technology for drilling operations shallower than 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) and hopes to get a bill ready early next year.
The government will reassess the ban in 2021.
"Protecting drinking water and health has the highest value for us," Ms. Hendricks said.
Congratulations to Germany's greenies and Gazprom! And a foot in the grave for the free market economy ...
The German economy is OK for now, but it is quite clear that the longer term forecast is anything but good.