Posts Tagged 'Blogosphere'

If the EU membership debate interests you, do read this

David Cameron’s interviews on radio and television about the ‘UK in the EU’ debate have been leading the news today.  There have been many myths, distortions and misrepresentations deployed by Cameron, various leading Tories and front organisations such as Open Europe in recent weeks.

To start unpicking fact from europhile fiction, Richard has started addressing the technicalities and correcting some of the points that Cameron has made, publishing the facts in an informative post over on the EU Referendum blog.

If you have even just a passing interest in this EU membership debate, I cannot recommend his post highly enough.

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. EU Referendum: The sum of all our fears

2. Witterings from Witney: And we have ‘sovereignty’?

3. Raedwald: Germany: The King with no clothes

4. The Boiling Frog: 2018 – The new 2014?

5. Your Freedom and Ours: We have a problem with Cyprus

New Year 5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. EU Referendum: EU politics: monumental deceit

2. Witterings from Witney: A New Year Message – with a difference

3. Anna Raccoon: Jack’s the Lad

4. CiF Watch: Arab media more accurate than the Guardian in story on Gaza building material

5. No Pasaran: French youth poverty rate reaches 23%

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Eric Edmonds: UKIP MEP musical chairs

2. Your Freedom and Ours: As the debate goes on

3. Ironies Too: Curtain Raiser to the 2013 Constitutional & Currency Crisis

4. The Slog: The Euro Fathers: Stupid or cunning?

5. Ambush Predator: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

That Leveson assertion that media has a ‘powerful reputation for accuracy’ again

levesonWhen the great Lord Justice Leveson attacked bloggers and social media and declared the mainstream media has a ‘powerful reputation for accuracy’ he didn’t do the so-called ‘fourth estate’ any favours.  It was inevitable some bloggers would use some of the multitude of glaring examples to the contrary to demonstrate what utter rubbish m’lud spoke.

Herman Van Rompuy is the President of the European Council.  Would someone please tell the Barclay Brother Beano‘s editorial staff..?

For the benefit of the Telegraph’s editorial team, with their attendant powerful reputation for accuracy, the Council of Europe has a Chairmanship which is held by a member state.  At this time it is Andorra (until May 2013).

Pleased that this ‘electronic version of pub gossip’ is be able to help the oh-so-grand font of truth!

h/t The Boiling Frog.

A vital lesson for campaigning bloggers

Following the recent furore over gun ownership in the USA as a result of the mass murder in Newton, Connecticut, and the clarion calls to ban firearms, the Junk Science blog has a post that caught my eye which begins thus:

Since England has banned gun ownership, violent crime is on the increase. Because kitchen knives are now supposedly used in half of all stabbings, the BBC News reports that some are now calling to ban pointy kitchen knives.

Doctors’ kitchen knives ban call

A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing. A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings. They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon. The research is published in the British Medical Journal. The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all….

Being sure such a current story would have had a prominent billing I was surprised not to have seen it.  A quick Google search however showed a range of odd, extremist and hate sites, such as Stormfront and Rense running the same story in recent days.

Curious, I followed the link into the British Medical Journal website to delve deeper.  It was there I found the article was actually published back in May 2005 and the most recent comment left on it is more than four years old.  The article is hidden behind a paywall, but a full copy of it, date stamped, can be read below for interest:

The problem here is many decent people who are making valid points about gun ownership and liberty in general are having their arguments undermined by reactionary, axe-grinding conspiracy theorists and bigots jumping on the bandwagon to advance their own twisted ideology.  Sadly Junk Science seems to have been caught out by this sudden focus on a story so out of date it actually made the news two years before Tony Blair left office.  It is a sad and credibility-harming error.

There’s a very important parallel point that needs to be made here.  When it comes to the politics of EU withdrawal we often see a similar thing.  A lack of knowledge or attention to detail by some who sensibly want the UK to leave the union can lead to mistakes that actually lump the rest of us in with those who make plainly outlandish claims referencing Magna Carta or claiming treason or demanding the Queen take on Parliament etc.  Such nonsense is seized upon gleefully by the EUphiles to discredit all those who wish to see the UK leave the union in the eyes of the electorate.

While apparent crowdsourcing and repeating a story that is doing the rounds may seem an appropriate thing to do, bloggers need to take care to check the sources and dig for the full story rather than accept things at face value.  Only then might people develop confidence in blogs as an accurate source of information that challenges the mainstream media and becomes a reliable alternative to the establishment narrative.  If we are to wage a successful campaign to extricate the UK from EU control we need to provide a trusted alternative to the EU-supporting mainstream media.  Building that trust starts now.

5 Star Blogging – Christmas interlude edition

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Subrosa: What is normal anyway?

2. Counting Cats: How to be a dictator (UK edition 2013)

3. Longrider: Except, they ain’t actually crimes

4. The Boiling Frog: 118 707

5. Nourishing Obscurity: Death of a pension plan

Real Economics blog – technologically literate, historically informed, politically progressive…

That is how the Real Economics blog describes itself on its title banner.  It goes on to explain to those who stumble across the blog that it ‘is about the economic and technological facts every Progressive needs to know–the neglected stories of the real economy’.

Like most immodest and self-regarding progressive sites in actual fact it is a complete pile of utter bollocks.

Being ‘progressive’ the author, Jonathan Larson, gravitates today to the German publication Spiegel as an authorative source for ‘news’ and impartial ‘commentary’ about energy and environment.  There Larson discovered a lead story: Poland wages war on efforts to save the climate and has unquestioningly used it as the basis of a blog post he titles Polish coal-aholics. Very witty, no?  His lengthy cut and paste job is preceded by his incisive observation and commentary thus:

It is abundantly clear that the Poles have ample historical reasons to hate all things German.  But just because the Germans believe burning coal is a disaster for the environment does not make it untrue—no matter what you believe about about German thought processes.

One more time.  The reason that Peak Oil and climate change are not being meaningfully addressed is because they are problems of applied science—Producer Class problems.  It doesn’t matter IF Al Gore is fat or is a mega energy hypocrite, climate change is still a fact beyond rational debate.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the Germans who want you to phase out coal-fired plants, it’s still a good idea.  There is nothing quite so strange as hearing political arguments being used to try to discredit hard science—it’s like children debating adults.

We really must work on this problem.

In the meantime, I would like someone to explain to me how the people of NW Denmark just went ahead and built a remarkably sustainable infrastructure while less than 500 miles away, a country actually chooses to invest in the most dirty lifestyle imaginable with no “reason” for doing it except to make a statement about an historical outrage.

If Larson – writer, inventor, builder and history buff that he is – had an ounce of the technological literacy or informed historic knowledge he claims, he would have spared himself the humiliation he deserves to have heaped on him for relying on Spiegel to provide balanced material about energy policy and environmentalism, upon which he based his anti-Polish rant.

I would like Larson to explain to me how he can write an ad hominem attack on the Poles for their desire to continue using coal, citing their apparent hatred of the Germans as their rationale, yet completely ignore the fact Germany is leading the dash for coal in Europe.  The chronically deluded and ill-informed Larson doesn’t mention it because Spiegel makes no reference to Germany’s coal rush in the article, let alone any explanation about why Germany is doing so as its renewables revolution collapses into costly abject failure.

So here’s some technological literacy and historic information for Larson to take onboard before someone sues him for misrepresentation in his blog title… As of the end of 2012 Germany has plans to build more than two dozen (that’s more than 24 if you didn’t know, Larson) coal fired power stations.  These are in addition to the eight stations that were fired up in the last couple of years that we have referenced previously.

So where is the formidably-informed Larson’s criticism of the Germans?  Is Germany’s dash for coal without reason?  Perhaps they are only doing it to make a statement about historical outrages they committed?  More likely though they are doing it to address their economic reality, a topic something Larson clearly remains in stunning ignorance of.

One of the labels applied to Larson’s blog post is ‘Abject Stupidity’.  With no sense of the delicious irony he served up, how right he is.

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. The Boiling Frog: Government by fax? Norway has a veto

2. A Tangled Web: Pat Finucane – an alternative view

3. Ian Parker-Joseph: Biggest social media sites censor alternative news

4. EU Referendum: EU Defence: another ‘accurate’ report?

5. Samizdata: The free-marketeers who favour monetary socialism

   As a weekend bonus, two more great posts you don’t want to miss…

6. Adam Smith Institute: We really do need to lower UK corporation tax rates you know

7. A Place to Stand: 28gate the Foreign “Aid” Advertising Agency Behind the Curtain

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Global Warming Policy Foundation: German Parliament votes for fracking

2. Raedwald: Labour’s shameful lies on immigration

3. Purple Scorpion: More on Davey throttling shale fracking

4. Musings of a Durotrigian: Bradford’s Muslim population explosion

5. Archbishop Cranmer: Cameron treats the Church of England with contempt

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Crash Bang Wallace: UK Uncut have made a fatal error

2. Raedwald: While Jimmy Fiddled

3. The Gray Monk: Doha: More hot air…

4. Captain Capitalism: Why the Left hates the division of labour

5. Bishop Hill: Gas prices are on the up

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Tim Worstall: Murphnonsense

2. Unenlightened Commentary: What you see is not all there is

3. Tim Worstall: Richard J Murphy’s hostage to tax fortune

4. Tallbloke’s Talkshop: E.U. Supernanny will control Britain’s use of its Sovereign shale gas reserves

5. Longrider: Common Sense in the Groan

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Your Freedom & Ours: Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

2. Counting Cats in Zanzibar: Starbucks and the sanction of the victim

3. The Commentator: ‘Green washing’ at the Committee on Climate Change

4. The Raccoon Arms: Would you Adam and Eve it?

5. A Tangled Web: Remember when Tories were against the surveillance state?

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing.  We hope you enjoy…

1. Restoring Britain: Missing a sitter

2. Jo Nova: The UN threat to internet freedom

3. Raedwald: Time to bust the cosy Party club

4. The Slog: Papandreou’s oddly robotic Huffpost article

5. Omnologos: A turkey voting for Christmas as a few dozen protest… ahem… demonstrate peacefully

And a late evening addition that will resonate with many readers…

Captain Ranty: Taking stock

The assault on free speech and wilful media ignorance

It’s fair to say I am not John Kampfner’s biggest fan.  But despite his observations of free speech being presented through the prism of media self interest, this piece he had in the Barclay Brother Beano on Thursday; ‘The global war on free speech’ makes some very good points that all readers would do well to absorb:

… We need anti-terrorism measures, but not the outrageous Communications Data Bill currently being discussed in Parliament, that would give not just the security services but dozens of lesser public bodies the right to demand emails and social media traffic from any citizen in the land.

… We need libel laws, but not those that for years have indulged sheikhs, oligarchs and other super-rich figures, preventing anyone from writing about them.

… Everywhere around the world, it seems, the right to take offence has been elevated into a human right. Usually, but not always, this “right” is exercised through religious belief. Most cases are seen through the prism of “insults” to Islam. But this “right” now seems to be exercised by whoever wants it.

… Whose interests are served when local councils know that planning decisions and other dodgy dealings will go unreported? The same goes on a national scale, not just about politicians, but sports stars and their agents and businesses on the take. Investigative journalism takes time, requires patience and indulgence from editors, and costs money. That is the area that is being cut back most of all – to everyone’s detriment.

… But I have worked in many countries – not just under authoritarian regimes – where journalists are seduced by the offer of a seat at the top table, or are persuaded not to ask that extra question. “Go easy, we don’t want trouble” could all too easily become the mantra here.

However this necessarily takes us off at an important tangent.  From a blogger’s perspective, why should it matter than any of Kampfner’s points are presented as media centric matters?  Because it should be recognised that some bloggers/citizen journalists are already adding value in this area by shining a light on instances of misbehaviour and dodgy dealings that were previously the preserve of investigative reporters.

When the likes of Kampfner readily accept journalists are manipulated and effectively bribed and show deference to those with ‘prestige’, it should be a warning sign that government ministers are only interested in working with journalists on matters of openness and transparency, as evidenced by this tweet from the Cabinet Office on 17 October, quoting Francis Maude:

The glorious media is playing right into the government’s hands and is in lockstep when it comes to excluding ‘the people’ – the ordinary man in the street.  But for the sneering journalistic condescension directed at bloggers by the self professed media elite, more examples of these type of stories published on blogs could be brought to a national audience by the legion of lavishly remunerated hacks. However, instead of the media working with bloggers they see them as little people, the great unwashed, whose stories are unworthy of exposure, so only a comparatively small number of people get to find out about them.

If the likes of John Kampfner genuinely want to champion free speech and bring attention to the murky activities of the powerful and the rich, locally or nationally, they could make an immediate difference by giving up their delusions of prestige and ending their policy of deliberately ignoring stories that common or garden bloggers uncover and publish.  Not for nothing do we assert the media is not an ally, but a fully assimilated part of the establishment.

Autonomous Mind blog – 2 years old today!

Today marks two years of Autonomous Mind!

In those two years we have published 973 posts and welcomed approaching three quarters of a million visitors.  We’ve posted comment on numerous politics and current affairs topics, hosted some excellent guest posts and also broken a number of stories exposing failings in public organisations and the media.  It’s been fun!

A big thank you to every reader, contributor and commenter for helping to make this blog what it is.  Your visits and comments are greatly appreciated.

A special thank you also to those bloggers who link to this blog – and those great people (you know who you are) who have provided so much invaluable advice, support, encouragement and friendship.

Associated Thought Control

When it comes to spinning the party line on the Climategate issue, the Associated Press can be relied upon by the warmists to shoehorn an entirely misleading assertion into its story.  Perhaps they should be called Associated Thought Control?

Both the Washington Post and CBC of Canada publish an identical report, spat out from AP about the Met Police and Norfolk Constabulary raid on Tallbloke and seizure of his computer equipment.

There is so much wrong about this police action that any journalist worth their highly remunerated salt could fill column feet with analysis of the legal basis for the raid, how they obtained a warrant to confiscate equipment of someone they admit is not suspected of any wrongdoing, and what on earth the police think they are going to achieve by it.

But we are talking about AP here, so of course the story has to reiterate the completely unproven allegation that the emails were stolen.  And of course AP goes out of its way to to tell the audience the scientists did nothing wrong, using a one line paragraph deliberately designed to stand out and hammer home what they want people to accept as fact despite the inquiries not looking for any evidence of wrongdoing.  Paragraphs such as that below are nothing less than naked propaganda:

Several inquiries have since refuted the charges.

Despite the massed ranks of government departments, NGOs, environmental activist groups, corporate giants and sycophantic media all lining up to parrot the warmist creed, people are still refusing to accept the narrative/  As bloggers continue to publish scientific findings that the likes of Mann, Jones, Trenberth and Briffa strive furiously to keep out of the public arena, the public becomes increasingly sceptical of the official line.

The result is the agents of the state being deployed against those bloggers who continue to share inconvenient information.

When it comes to keeping the taxpayer funded money train on the rails it seems the warmists are getting increasingly desperate.  The bloggers have got them on the run and now the warmists are trying scare tactics.

UK based Climategate 2 blogger has computers seized in police search

Question: Why have six police officers from the Metropolitan Police and Norfolk Constabulary searched a property and seized the computers and DSL router of a blogger for reporting the leak of the Climategate 2 emails, in order to clone his hard drives and inspect them, if he is not a suspect?

Details on Watts Up With That? / Jo Nova / Climate Audit

Welcome to the United Kingdom in 2011.

Over to you

Due to the pressure of work I don’t have the time to give these people the ‘good news’.  So, dear reader, please do read the email below and go forth to tell the burghers of Debating Europe what you think!

Do feel free to comment here about the debate and the comments you find over there.  The floor is yours.

AM

—————–

Dear Autonomous Mind,

I would like to draw your attention to a debate on the role of the European Central Bank in the Eurozone crisis, which is currently starting on Debating Europe, a platform for discussion supported by the European Parliament. We interviewed Peter Praet, a member of the six-person Executive Board of the ECB, and asked him what he thought about the ECB buying up government bonds in Italy: is it overstepping its mandate or does it have no choice?

We would very much like you to participate in the debate, and have your opinion on the topic. Please do not hesitate to contribute your thoughts (there is a “reply” button just after people’s comments), and share the following link amongst your network: http://www.debatingeurope.eu/2011/11/09/has-the-european-central-bank-gone-too-far/.

Best regards,

Alessandra

Alessandra Baldissin

Debating Europe
Bibliothèque Solvay, Parc Léopold
rue Belliard 137, B – 1040 Brussels

A call to arms

Following on from our recent post about changing focus to take back power, two posts from a very generous blogger, The Progressive Contrarian – ‘A Thorn in the Side‘ and then this call to arms: ‘Go Forth and Multiply‘.

Hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of TPC in the weeks and months ahead, so do add him to your reading list.


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