Germany’s Merkel Contemplates Social Media Crackdown to Counter “Fake News”

merkel

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning new censorship laws, a harsh crack down on “fake news”, which according to President Obama seems to include any criticism of climate theory.

“Something has changed — as globalization has marched on, [political] debate is taking place in a completely new media environment. Opinions aren’t formed the way they were 25 years ago,” she said Wednesday while addressing Germany’s Bundestag, or parliament. “Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms, and we have to learn to deal with them.”

Merkel indicated that she supported tougher measures to crack down on hate speech in its various forms and figure out new ways to regulate the complicated ecosystem of online information (and misinformation).

“I believe we should not underestimate what is happening in the context of the Internet and with digitalization; this is part of our reality,” Merkel said. “We have regulations that allow for our press freedom, including the requirement for due diligence from journalists. Today we have many that experience a media that is based on very different foundations and is much less regulated.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/11/23/fake-news-threatens-germanys-election-too-says-merkel/

President Obama stating the problematic new media ecosystem includes “climate denial”

The new media ecosystem “means everything is true and nothing is true,” Obama told me later. “An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll. And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation.”

That marked a decisive change from previous political eras, he maintained. “Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said. “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it. That’s how, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you had Republicans supporting the Clean Air Act and you had a market-based fix for acid rain rather than a command-and-control approach. So you’d argue about means, but there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of. And now we just don’t have that.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/28/obama-reckons-with-a-trump-presidency

Does Angela Merkel think criticism of climate science should be included in her crackdown? I haven’t found a direct quote where Merkel describes climate “denial” as “fake news”, but given how close she is to President Obama on this subject, this seems a reasonable assumption.

Under German Law, Merkel has the power to prosecute or imprison people who voice proscribed opinions. German Law, unlike the US Constitution, does not provide a guarantee of free speech. German law contains a broad and vaguely defined concept of Volksverhetzung, “incitement of the masses”.

Volksverhetzung, in English “incitement of the masses”, “instigation of the people” (the official English translation of the German Criminal Code uses “incitement to hatred”), is a concept in German criminal law that refers to incitement to hatred against segments of the population and refers to calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them, including assaults against the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population.

It is often applied to, though not limited to, trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany. The criminal code (Strafgesetzbuch) Chapter 7 (Offences against public order), Paragraph 130 (Incitement to hatred) of the Federal Republic of Germany defines when a person is guilty of Volksverhetzung.

The concept draws criticism by press and legal scholars for not being defined with the necessary definiteness and violating the principle of clarity and definiteness (Bestimmtheitsgrundsatz) and thus is called an elastic clause (Gummiparagraph) allowing in theory to punish nearly any political statment made and violating the freedom of speech.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksverhetzung

The only silver lining to this ghastly business is in order to legally persecute “climate deniers”, if this is Merkel’s intention, she will have to define what climate denial actually is. Defining climate “denial” is harder than it might seem, because there is a lot of agreement about the fundamental physics. A legal definition of climate “denial” would have to include ridiculously prescriptive clauses, such as “expressing a belief that equilibrium climate sensitivity may be less than 1.5c / doubling of CO2”.

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327 thoughts on “Germany’s Merkel Contemplates Social Media Crackdown to Counter “Fake News”

  1. You said:
    A legal definition of climate “denial” would have to include ridiculously prescriptive clauses, such as “expressing a belief that equilibrium climate sensitivity may be less than 1.5c / doubling of CO2”.

    I would like to think that’s true, but someone like Merkel could just leave the definition vague and then rely on like minded judges to prosecute anyone who disagreed with her.

    • “Law” in itself is a fakery, because it’s only ever “practiced”, never actually “done” for real. It’s constantly moving and evolving, causing nothing but misery in general.

      Cause no harm, nor allow harm to be caused to another living soul’s life, liberty or property.

      What else is needed? We certainly don’t need some 6 million Statutes in every country to describe that.

      Note to O’Bummer: If I had a Koch Brothers’ cheque, I would have bought you out by now.

      • “‘Cause no harm, nor allow harm to be caused to another living soul’s life, liberty or property.’ What else is needed?”

        A gross and dangerous oversimplification of the real world. For just one instance, according to that limp “Law-Lite” principle, triage would be illegal, even though it saves lives. Ditto, shooting a sniper, which causes harm to the sniper, if done properly.

      • The object of triage is to enable the most urgent injuries to be taken care of first and save lives, which as you said, works. It causes no undue harm and simply makes sense. The act of shooting a sniper is a product of war, self-defence or protecting the public. Armies have their own rules of engagement. I’m talking civil law.

        Laws need to be sensible. If you’re not killing, robbing or being deceptive in your dealings, why should you be held to account for harm where there is none, which is precisely where most laws today cause harm by inventing a fictional victim such as the State, and penalising you when the State has not been palpably harmed.

        “Legal” and “illegal” are simply wet dreams by politicians designed to fleece you where no palpable harm has been caused to anyone.

      • You speak as if you expect these people to be honest on any level after nearly 80 years of their constant deception.

        Look at how readily they invoke the holocaust when they are questioned. That should tell you something. I know what it tells me, and that is that their web of outright lies goes far deeper than any of them are leading on, and it’s so deep that many of these people belief all of them.

        In conclusion, these people simply live in a different reality than the rest of us. A reality where CO2 is the most dangerous chemical known to mankind, and 6 million people were gassed despite the numerous historical corrections to the figures, and if you point out any of this you’re a “denier”.

        What exactly a “denier” is, I have yet to determine, but in the mind’s of these people, whom obviously live in a different reality than the rest of us, it’s an evil, evil person and you should be silenced with the force of government.

        These “people” IMHO are mentally insane, and they need to be removed from any and all positions of authority, as they are an innate threat to humanity. I look around me and in the world I live in, every policy they promote is a blatant lie and distortion of reality, they are openly and without regard funding the violence and discord worldwide, and the plebes that support them simply either do not care, or do not have the intellect to understand the situation they are in.

        These “people” are a the most dangerous threat to humanity the world has ever known, and it seems like no one even understands it.

      • The charge that the Koch brothers/big oil/whatever are responsible for financing “climate denial” only works under an assumption of honesty on the part of the Democratic party. If, on the other hand, there are documented instances of Democrat corruption and pay for play, one wonders why exactly the Koch brothers didn’t just send a check to the Clinton foundation.

    • Then this will backfire on them big time….
      Brian Williams, Dan Rather, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Jayson Blair,………… and on and on

      Told the most famous lies of all time…

    • Agreed. Similar to “sexual harassment”. During one of our indoctrination lectures, after being asked for a definition, we we informed “It’s whatever the harassed person wants it to be”. Like the definition of “hate speech”. Diversity doesn’t include things you don’t like.

      • M Courtney, Merkel can put on all the lipstick she wants and call herself anything she wants. She is still a wannabe authoritarian seeking to silence opponents and to impose nonsensical destructive policies on Europe.

      • @M Courtney

        “Merkel is not a socialist. She’s a Christian Democrat; that’s right-wing.”

        This claim is quite wrong after more than 10 years of Merkel’s reign. The plain reality is:

        – The non-Bavarian Christian Democrat party CDU never was a real right-wing party. This role played in part its “sister party” from Bavaria, the CSU until about the beginning of Merkel’s rule. The CDU was a moderate center-right party BEFORE Merkel’s time.

        – Today, Merkel’s CDU is a very left-leaning center-left party and it is difficult to find significant differences between Merkel’s CDU and the original center-left Social Democrats SPD or even with the rather left-leaning German Green party.

        – Consequently, Germany is governed by a great coalition of CDU, CSU and SPD and Merkel would have no reserve at all to make a coalition with the Greens as well.

        – Today, the only real right-wing party in Germany is (apart from some smaller and insignificant extremist fringe groups) the newly formed protest party AFD which wants a real change in the German and European politic, likewise as what is to expect from President elect D. Trump in the US, but the AFD cannot reach more than maybe 15 – 20 % of the German voters and all other German parties would join together to prevent any influence of the AFD.

        – This funny lopsided state of the German political scene is the result of about 30 year of constant brain washing of the German public by totally left-leaning and eco-religious MSM there. So there is little hope of a quick recovery to a more balanced party system in Germany.

    • I like the Obama Quote

      The new media ecosystem “means everything is true and nothing is true,” Obama told me later. “An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll. And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation.”

      That marked a decisive change from previous political eras, he maintained. “Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said. “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it. That’s how, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you had Republicans supporting the Clean Air Act and you had a market-based fix for acid rain rather than a command-and-control approach. So you’d argue about means, but there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of. And now we just don’t have that.”

      An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll.
      So automatically ALL Climate Change “Denialists” are on the Koch brothers’payroll?? Talk about a Conspiracy

      And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal
      i suppose this only applies to those arguing in favor of the proposed 97% concensus and doesn’t apply to those who wish to rebutt them

      Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us
      Democracies exist because people don’t agree, when people are FORCED to agree, it is called a DICTATORSHIP!! So now it is up to 99% because Obama says it is?

      And then we would have a debate about how to fix it. That’s how, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you had Republicans supporting the Clean Air Act and you had a market-based fix for acid rain rather than a command-and-control approach
      Except that now, they don’t want a DEBATE (It is settled) nor do they wand “Market-Based Fix” Solutions to the problems, they would appear to favor the COMMAND-AND-CONRTOL approach

      Just more political hypocricy

    • FACT !!!!
      Angela Merkel is a politician, BUT without a mirror in her house !
      And YES, she has a personal dressmaker
      .
      And YES she was born a communist !

    • “incitement of the masses” (read the public ie Authorities) as expressed by the Court of (in-)Justice (on the Authorities payroll) using “assaults against the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population”, including “expressing a belief”, whether religious of scientific…

      Amounts to a crime then…

      Oddgeir

    • Truth: CO2 is at an alarming concentration of 400ppm.
      Fake: CO2 is only one unit to every 10,000 units of the atmosphere.

      (both calculations equal identical amounts)

      • Fake: the increased level of CO2 from 0.028 to 0.04% is so small it cannot make any difference to climate. It is like thinking that 15 seats (or 0.5 seats) in a crowded football stadium will make a difference. Pokerguy said it right back in the post about the football stadium: “Why do we persist in making stupid arguments when we have plenty of strong ones within easy reach.. The “how can a trace gas necessary for life possibly do any harm?” is a terrible “common sense” based argument that only hurts our credibility.”

      • Mark, I am as surprised as you. You are referring to the quote from Pokerguy. I assumed he meant skeptics’ credibility.

    • Want to bet David? I cannot believe it has gone on this long. Huge vested interest in both controlling the climaterevenue and the citizenry.

      “… there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of. And now we just don’t have that.”

      Talking about the subject made the facts go away???? Reeeaalllly. No wonder they scream for censorship.

  2. The UN crackdown is coming for climate skeptic websites too.

    The Left and their climate religion lies will not go down quietly or without a fight for silencing freedom of speech. It’s 1984 for them,… and Big Brother is coming.

    Fight the lies.

    • “Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said.

      Outrageous “false news”. Whoever tries to mislead the public like that should be thrown out of his job and prosecuted.

      • Well said Greg – you beat me to it! – The irony of Obama talking about “false News” and then stating that 99% of Scientists “tell us” is mind-boggling!

        EVEN IF THIS WERE TRUE! – WHAT ABOUT THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH RIGHTS OF THE 1%. ?

        History is littered with consensus bollocks that now looks stupid. From a flat earth, to the Sun circling the earth, to Stomach Ulcers being caused by stress – all were accepted “givens” by the faithful, overturned by EVIDENCE.

        I actually think this could be the best thing that could have ever happened for true sceptical Scientists (an un-sceptical scientist is an oxymoron) because it will force those whose view is more faith than fact based to justify their position.

        So rather than bemoan what Obama says – welcome it and USE IT! – I believe he has just shot himself in the foot on this one.

      • Glory be! Another 2% of the false prophets have been converted and now see the ight! The number of deniers has been reduced by a huge step forward, from the unsatisfactory 97%. Only one in hundred is left. And then, the great future of 110% agreement lies ahead!

      • Darcydog

        I am struggling to believe that there was a flat earth consensus. The Natives of North America, who in their isolation and Great plains view would have had pretty good reason to think the earth was flat, believed it had/has a definite 3D nature, being supported on the back of a Turtle (hence Turtle Island).

        Did the Aztecs believe the earth was flat? The Chinese didn’t. Also the Greeks, the Mesopotamians I am not sure. The Romans believe all sorts of stupid things they made up plus they were very superstitious.

        The Flat Earth Society is a recent invention and is a joke, not a real belief. Sadly, some epithets just don’t make sense anymore.

      • But Crispin – it’s turtles, all the way down… :-)

        Best, Allan:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/uh-oh-its-models-all-the-way-down/#comment-1421394

        Paul Westhaver says: September 19, 2013 at 9:31 am “It’s [turtles] all the way down.”

        [excerpted]

        This suggests a new collective noun: “an infinitude of turtles”.

        One could also say “an infinitude of worthless climate models”, programmed by “an infinitude of dyslexic climate modellers”, yielding “an infinitude of exaggerated global warming predictions” (er, sorry, “projections”).

        Regards to all, Allan
        __________________________________________________

        Meanwhile, back at the Turtles, all the way down:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

        The most widely known version, which obviously is not the source (see below), appears in Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time, which starts:

        A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s tortoises all the way down!”
        —Hawking, 1988[1]

        In 1905, Oliver Corwin Sabin, Bishop of the Evangelical Christian Science Church, wrote:

        The old original idea which was enunciated first in India, that the world was flat and stood on the back of an elephant, and the elephant did not have anything to stand on was the world’s thought for centuries. That story is not as good as the Richmond negro preachers who said the world was flat and stood on a turtle. They asked him what the turtle stood on and he said another turtle, and they asked what that turtle stood on and he said another turtle, and finally they got him in a hole and he said. “I tell you there are turtles all the way down.”
        —Sabin, 1905[2]

        Many 20th-century attributions point to William James as the source.[3][4] James referred to the fable of the elephant and tortoise several times, but told the infinite regress story with “rocks all the way down” in his 1882 essay, “Rationality, Activity and Faith”.[5] In the form of “rocks all the way down”, the story predates James to at least 1838.[6]

        In 1854 the story in the current form appears, attributed by bible skeptic Joseph Barker to preacher Joseph Frederick Berg:

        My opponent’s reasoning reminds me of the heathen, who, being asked on what the world stood, replied, “On a tortoise.” But on what does the tortoise stand? “On another tortoise.” With Mr. Barker, too, there are tortoises all the way down.
        —Barker, 1854[7]

        There is an allusion to the story in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (published in 1779):

        How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum? And, after all, what satisfaction is there in that infinite progression? Let us remember the story of the Indian philosopher and his elephant. It was never more applicable than to the present subject. If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, this ideal world must rest upon some other; and so on, without end. It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world.
        —Hume, 1779[8]

      • Alan, what a great collection! Outstanding!

        Note that the story is never believed. It is always a story about someone telling a silly and unbelievable story.

        That said, I don’t doubt for a moment that some could believe it, in India as elsewhere. My great grandmother believed that inside the human body was a sort of sack into which food fell, that there were no organs in the regular sense of the word.

        It is also just as remarkable that people believe that if glaciers melt, the precipitation that maintained them for centuries in a steady state will also disappear. They can’t grasp the simple fact that a melting glacier that has the same extent each spring has to have been refreshed during the winter to make up for the summer melt.

        Mt Kilimanjaro, which has a glacier that is essential thick hoarfrost, could be considered a candidate site for a loss of total precipitation, but the Eastern Highveld of South Africa disproves this. At night when the temperature falls, there is significant dewfall that on Mt Kilimanjaro would become ice. In Mpumalanga it becomes dew and ground moisture. There is a rain forest on the Eastern Escarpment as a result. Bill Mollison said that the dewfall there accounted for more than 80% of all precipitation there (but he also said that 83% of all statistics are made up.)

      • Hmm. I recall Einstein, who challenged the 99%. And all the others who led us to modern understandings of the solar system, plate tectonics, evolution…hell, nearly everything scientific.

      • I see a strong parallel with the 99% of scientists that agree we have AGW and the 99.5% that voted for Saddam Hussein. For the scientists, if you disagree and are on the government payroll, you better polish that resume`, for the Iraqi citizen, you better prepare to die.

      • Henning Nielsen

        November 29, 2016 at 2:43 am

        Glory be! Another 2% of the false prophets have been converted and now see the ight! The number of deniers has been reduced by a huge step forward, from the unsatisfactory 97%. Only one in hundred is left. And then, the great future of 110% agreement lies ahead!

        Henning
        The 110% will come in the placement of error bars 100% +/- 10%

      • Joshua Slocum’s account of his meeting with Paul Krüger the President of Transvaal, South Africa.

        ‘The trip to Kimberley, Johannesburg, and Pretoria was a pleasant one. At the last-named place I met Mr. Krüger, the Transvaal president. His Excellency received me cordially enough; but my friend Judge Beyers, the gentleman who presented me, by mentioning that I was on a voyage around the world, unwittingly gave great offense to the venerable statesman, which we both regretted deeply. Mr. Krüger corrected the judge rather sharply, reminding him that the world is flat. “You don’t mean round the world,” said the president; “it is impossible! You mean in the world. Impossible!” he said, “impossible!” and not another word did he utter either to the judge or to me. The judge looked at me and I looked at the judge, who should have known his ground, so to speak, and Mr. Krüger glowered at us both. My friend the judge seemed embarrassed, but I was delighted; the incident pleased me more than anything else that could have happened. It was a nugget of information quarried out of Oom Paul, some of whose sayings are famous. Of the English he said, “They took first my coat and then my trousers.” He also said, “Dynamite is the corner-stone of the South African Republic.” Only unthinking people call President Krüger dull.

      • @ Greg + many and it scares the heck out of me, not FOR me but for our children and grandchildren. We have to continue educating them and the the rest of the people. This out and out attack on us by people like Merkle, Obama and the organizations that put them there is truly frightening.

      • Hello again Crispin and thank you for your comments. Blessings on your great-grandmother and your entire family.

        For no particular reason, your comments reminded me of my paternal grandparents, an Ontario farm family who left their own young three boys with the help while they cared for others during the great Influenza epidemic of 1918-19.

        My grandma told me about it when I was little, but it was much later before I learned how bad this flu was. It the most devastating pandemic in recorded world history, killing between 20 and 40 million people, more than all the deaths in the Great War (WW1).

        Nobody in my family caught this flu, even though both grandparents were closely exposed to it. It was reportedly an avian flu virus, and I have wondered for years if they had developed an immunity. My grandma kept chickens and “candled” the eggs, selling them to private customers in Montreal. This involved considerable handling of the eggs prior to shipment, a task that the entire family helped out with.

        … just some random thoughts at 4am – time for coffee.

        More on glacier melt soon…

        Best personal regards, Allan in Calgary

      • Hi again Crispin,

        Further to your comments re glaciers:

        Here in Western Canada, the usual suspects have been bs-ing for years that the retreat of some of our mountain glaciers would result in the drying up of our rivers. This is nonsense – one of my former colleagues, an expert hydrologist, wrote to the newspaper and stated that much less than 5% (I recall) of the annual river flow is from glacier melt. The vast majority of our river flow (>95%) is from annual precipitation, in the form of spring snow melt and year-round rainfall.

        A few years ago I wrote the life-of-project draft Water Management Strategic Plan for one of our biggest oilsands plants. Again, the usual suspects had been bs-ing for years about the excessive water withdrawals from the Athabasca River, that would dry up the river and harm fish habitat.

        Here is some background I wrote circa 2010 on one of the papers that attacked the oilsands, where it was alleged that water consumption by the oilsands was draining the Athabasca River.
        The workshop was ominously titled “Running Out of Steam”.
        http://www.powi.ca/pdfs/running_out_of_steam_final.pdf

        Excerpt:
        “Dr. Schindler showed a graph that illustrated the total summer flow of the Athabasca River at Fort McMurray, which declined 29% between 1971 and 2005, and noted that this decline paralleled declines seen in other rivers in Alberta over the last 100 years.”

        Schindler’s statement is misleading. Here are the facts:

        Data on Athabasca River flows exists back to 1957, and shows a cyclical pattern, which is in phase with other Western Canadian river flows, such as the North Saskatchewan, where data exists back to 1910.

        Schindler “cherry picked” the flow decline from 1971 to 2005, ignoring the solid evidence that river flows are cyclical, and declined from 1910 to 1940 and then increased from 1940 to 1970, prior to the recent decline, which appears to have ended. Athabasca River annual flows in 2007 were similar to flows in 1958.

        Athabasca and North Saskatchewan river flow trends also correlate with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and temperature cycles.

        Actual withdrawals of water from the Athabasca River by the entire oilsands industry total about 1% of annual river flow, as compared with natural seasonal variations of about 1000%. So much for threatening the “highly fragile” areas of fish spawning habitat – natural seasonal flow variation has one thousand times the impact of the oilsands.

        Best, Allan

        Formerly at http://ess.nrcan.gc.ca/ercc-rrcc/proj1/images/grasby_presentation1_sld21.gif

  3. How to know when you have lost the argument. However, I would guess that Frau Merkle is far more concerned with censoring reports of criminal and terroristic behavior by her 1 million muslim refugees than she is about climate.

  4. Sounds a bit like the notorious 18C in Australia.

    RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 – SECT 18C

    Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin
    (1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:

    (a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and

    (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

    Note: Subsection (1) makes certain acts unlawful. Section 46P of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 allows people to make complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission about unlawful acts. However, an unlawful act is not necessarily a criminal offence. Section 26 says that this Act does not make it an offence to do an act that is unlawful because of this Part, unless Part IV expressly says that the act is an offence.

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in private if it:

    (a) causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or

    (b) is done in a public place; or

    (c) is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.

    (3) In this section:

    “public place ” includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or not a charge is made for admission to the place.

    The ludicrous nature of this provision is that when some commentator called Senator David Leyonhjelm an “angry white male”, the good Senator took it upon himself to be offended, and started proceedings against said commentator. Not sure how far this has got, but he said he himself was not offended but he was starting proceedings on behalf of all white males who could have been offended by the remark.

    • Yes, I rather enjoyed the collective gasp from the SJWs when they suddenly found themselves on the wrong end of that law :D

    • Here is an example of racism, typical of what is shown every day in the press:

      A cartoon shows in captions: a black man saying ”I’m proud to be black’ said the black man’, an Asian saying, ‘I’m proud to be Asian’ said the Asian’ and a white man saying, ”I’m proud to be white’ said the racist’

    • My question is who gets to decide what is, and what is not, an offensive act?

      I can understand Germany’s restrictions on free speech. They are scared to death another Hitler is going to rise among them, so they try to nip it in the bud. Of course, I disagree with this approach. I think free speech will stifle the Hitler’s of the world with the truth, just like we are going to stifle Merkel and Obama and the Left with the truth.

      If Hillary had won the election we would be seeing the U.S. heading down the same road Merkel is taking Germany.

      I hear English news media are being forbidden to connect Muslims and terrorism in their reporting. Germany is also censoring the news in this manner. Germany has a LOT of problems with the immigrants, and their leaders are trying to hide it from themselves, I guess, because the people of Germany know exactly what’s going on.

      Socialists don’t have a clue about how to get along in this world. Ironically, they think they are the experts on it.

      • German politicians apparently believe that the best protection from Hitlerism is…[drumroll]…Hitlerism. A sort of preemptive strike approach, doing unto imaginary others before they do unto you.

  5. Are Merkel’s Stasi roots showing? She was raised in Communist East Germany where the news was controlled by the government. Wikipedia states, in part:

    “Like most young people in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Merkel was a member of the Free German Youth (FDJ),… Later, at the Academy of Sciences, she became a member of the FDJ district board and secretary for “Agitprop” (Agitation and Propaganda)…”

    Sounds to me like Merkel wants to go back to controlling the narrative.

    • “Are Merkel’s Stasi roots showing?”

      You mean you only just noticed?

      ‘Fake news’ is the new ‘hate speech’. Just the usual attempt by the left to censor anyone who disagrees with them. They refused to debate the right before the US election, and just called them names. That backfired horribly, so now they’re doubling down.

      • According to some, Merkel is a right winger. Probably one of those far right nuts who don’t believe that the government should be running everything.

      • From what I’ve seen the left and right are defined differently in Europe. Instead of Socialist/Capitalist (with all the baggage those include) the divide is more between Globalist/Nationalist. So you can be a right-wing Socialist in Germany, as long as you promote national wellbeing over UN style Globalization.

        Which is how the Left can claim that the National Socialist Party (NAZI) and Hitler were ‘right-wing’, despite holding nearly all Ideologies that an American would view as left-wing.

  6. As Mark Steyn once said: “You can take the girl out of East Germany, but you can’t take East Germany out of the girl”.

  7. “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

    “There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.”

    – Richard Feynman, a Nobel winning physicist

    Obama combines the two terrible traits of blinding ignorance and extreme narcissism.

    • Obama, implicated himself with his own words:
      ” ,,,to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal…”
      While he goes on to do exactly that.
      What is essentially happening is the introduction of new heresy policies.
      Beware: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

      • What makes Obama’s words so pathetic is that an even cursory look into both sides on almost any left/right disagreement shows that it’s the left that doesn’t allow debate or rebuttal.

        Just here in the Climate debate, you have a number of skeptic and even lukewarmer blogs (WAWT, Jo Nova, Climate Ect, Lucia’s Blackboard, and many many more) that often get quite rowdy from all the different opinions that get posted. Meanwhile most of the top Alarmist blogs are echo chambers where holding the least bit of heretical thought will get you baned, ‘boreholed’, deleted, or even get your comment rewritten so it’s easier to mock and ‘debunk’.

        As just a small example, Hot Whopper recently posted an article announcing that they wouldn’t be allowing ‘denier’ comments anymore. Not that they’ve allowed one of mine in over a year, so not really that big a change. They just aren’t pretending to allow debate anymore.

        All this of course has had a predictable outcome. The Alarmists blogs have all become shriller and more extreme, while simultaneously getting fewer and fewer visits. Meanwhile all the real debate (and hense all real advancement of ideas) have moved to the skeptic and lukewarmer blogs. Even most of the Alarmists have moved to the Skeptic blogs, because that’s where all the action is taking place. But since they are still mired in the swamp of the Alarmist echo chambers their arguments are becoming more and more pathetic.

        Just look at what has become of some of the former best and brightest in the Climate Blogging world. People like Brandon and Mosher, who have become so lost in their own opinion that you can’t even reason with them anymore.

        The Alarmists are now left standing in the virtual dust, wondering how they lost control of the debate.

  8. There is a long legal history here. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously referred to:

    Falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre. link

    Even he had doubts about his decision. What about the person who stands in the theatre and warns the audience there are not enough fire exits?

    We do have limits on speech. Disturbing the peace by shouting insults will get you arrested (if not beaten up).

      • The (Schenck v. United States 1919) case was a very important case, which SCOTUS terribly got wrong….

        It involved a Socialist handing out pamphlets espousing opposition to the WWI military draft.

        Schenck’s 1st Amendment rights clearly allowed him to exercise his free speech in this manner, but SCOTUS used the “falsely yelling fire in a crowded movie theater” analogy to rule such actions illegal under the Espionage Act of 1917.

        This type of protest is EXACTLY the type of speech, freedom of assembly and petition our founding fathers wished to protect, and SCOTUS wished to curtail in this awful ruling.

    • It is not against the law to yell fire in a theatre. It is against the law in create panic under false pretends in a confined area.

      • You also can’t tell lies about another in order to damage that other’s reputation.
        Or rather you can tell the lies, but the other is allowed to sue you for damages.

  9. “Hate” speech is protected under the the US Cinstitution’s 1st Amendment rights (Brandenburg v. Ohio).

    It’s a very slippery slope when government hacks try to define or limit “hate” speech or “fake news”…

    It’s far better to allow free and open speech on everything and let individuals decide what is true or suspect, with some exceptions as specifically defined under civil and criminal law (child porn, slander, assault, inciting riots, death threats, perjury, falsifying data, false advertising, etc.).

    Even in Obama’s above statement, he blantatly violeted his “fake news” standard by repeating the lie that “97% of scientists” believe in the CAGW hypothesis, which is patently false….

    Obama should be allowed to lie to the American people, however, he should also suffer the consequences of being exposed as a liar, which, unfortunately, he almost always seems to avoid…

    Just let the crazies (on both sides) expose themselves through open, free and uncensored speech.

  10. We need to trust that the ‘grown ups’ will feed us the information that we need. The world is such a complicated place that it would not be reasonable to expect normal people to sort out what is true and what is not.

      • It’s not surprising these days with people wandering about zombie like on trains, buses and sidewalks gawping in to a “smartphone” and not paying attention to reality.

    • A running joke in my house full of teenagers is “its on the internet, it must be true”.
      Fake news has existed as long as the spoken word.
      Keep the government out of my interweb.

      • My librarian wife share a meme for that (sort of) a picture of Abraham Lincoln with the caption “If it is on the internet it must be true and you can not question it” — Abraham Lincoln

        She shares these with her classes on evaluating resources, but she worries because many of the young college students don’t understand that Lincoln never had the internet and that is the point of the meme. I am waiting for some of them to regale her with Lincoln’s great exploits against the undead in DC as fact.

    • Asp,
      I will charitably assume you accidentally omitted a [sarcasm] tag.
      I will further assume you allude to the utter lack of critical thinking skills being taught in primary schools and the consequences of which we are now reaping.
      Sadly more of the population seems to be concerned with “reality TV” that actual reality.

      “When they work,… they work hard.
      And when they play,… they play hard.
      But, when they think,…they fall asleep.”

    • Asp, a large part of my becoming grown up, was the factual discovery that some people will lie to get their way. Especially ideologically motivated people. Especially lying about facts and events.

      When large numbers of people share an ideology, they are consistent in accepting the same lies. Their society becomes a culture of lies.

      The lies are constructed and fed to them by their societal coterie of ideologically motivated dishonest intellectuals. These intellectuals provide reasonable-seeming arguments that are both specious and opportunistic. The opportunism is when the truth happens to serve the lie. Then it’s used. The most effective lies are woven with bits of truth.

      When large numbers of people believe the same lies, and sincerely pass them along, the lies can seem very much like the truth to the naïve.

      Often, the more important is the subject, the more likely are there people who will lie about it.

      So be careful. Give your trust only to people who you know to be honest. Check everything. And that always means go to the library and look it up. See whether people are representing their sources honestly.

  11. When the government gets to decide what news is fake and what news is real, then the only news allowed will be government approved propaganda.

    • Which is exactly how they want it. They really don’t like having narratives other than their own out there – they could lose an election (like Merkel is afraid she’d going to do).

  12. It’s an amusing irony that as Pres. Obama denounces misinformation, he says that 99 percent of scientists say that climate change is the result of human activity, which is an inaccurate description of the debate supported by the mischaracterization of a study that has, itself, been debunked.

    The old media environment didn’t have less misinformation, it was just more one-sided.

  13. “… denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll.” Obama is clearly a delude conspiracy theorist.

  14. I saw a remarkable amount of false news stories during the US Presidential election aimed at both Trump and Clinton. There was a report on the BBC about this who suggested that many of the stories come from a single source in Macedonia where English speaking high school students are high to produce the tales and post them. In an age of social media I wonder if this has the potential to undermine democracy?
    I like to think most voters are savvy enough to see through these stories, but as they get more sophisticated it could be a problem.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo?utm_term=.fiQWEz14WX#.pbkXlOZxXK

    • Yes, this was widely reported – you can get a tiny payment for every click on the fake news item when its passed on on Facebook – a respectable income in Macedonia.

      • Is that how you make money Griff, clicking and posting fake “science”? You appear to be loaded with alarmist links to post in an instant.

      • buzzfeed and BBC as reliable sources(!), I’d rather go with Oom Paul’s views on the flatness or otherwise of the earth.

    • You say aimed at both Trump and Clinton, yet the article you link to says “They almost all publish aggressively pro-Trump content aimed at conservatives and Trump supporters in the US.”

      Would you agree that the majority of these “fake news” stories were aimed at Trump supporters rather than Clinton supporters?

      • Yes they were, but I also saw a substantial amount aimed at Clinton. Apparently more people click on the Trump ones than Clinton so they get a better income.
        Something everyone can do is when one of these things appears on your news feed, click the ‘report’ and ensure it is deleted and flagged up as click bait lies.

      • A good part of the reason why Trump supporters gravitated to those sites, is because the regular media was heavily biased against Trump and positive toward Clinton for example, and for example, and for example. Voters knew that, and Trump supporters found themselves deliberately starved of honest information. Hence their vital interest in alternatives.

        If the media had been overwhelmingly and unfairly negative about Hillary Clinton, it seems likely that it would have again been correspondingly rejected, but by Democratic voters, followed by their migration to Macedonian sports inventing stories about her.

      • Pat Frank, you cannot conclude bias because most of the coverage was interpreted as negative. If there were a lot of negative things to report, then that is how an un-biased media would look. That is not to say the media was in-biased, but you cannot conclude so from those numbers. Most of the coverage of Dahmer is pretty negative, but we don’t necessarily think the media is biased against him.

    • Definetly, the MSM has done more fake news stories than anyone else. They are still doing fake news stories and I don’t expect they are going to stop either. They’ll just keep reporting lies and half-truths and acting like they are pure as the driven snow.

      • Almost every time I have independent information on a story, and then watch that same story on the MSM, the MSM slants it.
        A couple of days ago the local station ran a story about a police car that lost control and almost ran down a group of pedestrians at an ATM.
        They then ran the clip, and if you looked closely you could see that just before the cop car “lost control” it was hit in the side by another car.
        Technically, the story was accurate because the cop car did lose control. They lied in not telling the viewer why it lost control.

      • “What is your evidence that the MSM has done more fake news stories than anyone else?”

        Chris, you must not have been watching the news lately with a critical eye.

        I would say that probably at least 80 percent of everything the MSM has reported over the last election cycle have been lies or half-truths and so it is fake news.

        We could compare headlines if you want to, or you could just go read the Newsbuster, Daily Caller, and Brietbart websites where you will see fake news pointed out to you every day.

        The truth is not in the MSM, Chris. If you think it is, you have been fooled into believing something that isn’t so.

      • Sometimes the lies are not intentional but a reporter’s desire to have a “breaking” news story. I recently saw a story of a police shooting in Calgary where the first witness gave a story about how the police chased the individual into the parking lot and immediately shot him. The next day, two other witnesses were interviewed and gave very different stories. The third day, the police provided video evidence that showed the “perp” going into a store (video provided by the store) and buying cigarettes before the police showed up. Then the perp got into his stolen truck and rammed the police cars that had boxed him in; and then the shooting started. So what was the “truth” here. As a result, the perception of the truth of this story depends on what version you saw on the news. The incident is still under investigation. Seems that “truth” depends on perspective and timing.

        In the rush to “break” the news, fact checking sometimes takes a back seat.

  15. Rumour and it’s partner, Gossip, have ever run ahead of truth in any
    public discussion. It doesn’t need the Ineternet; it’s an integral part of
    human conversation and discussion.

    Filtering both and reaching as near to the truth as possible is a necessary
    skill we must all learn to a greater or lesser degree. Doing so, requires
    access to all the facts, not a selected few of them. That’s
    dangerous. South Australia’s electricity grid was properly bitten by their
    government’s light touch with the engineering Facts of Life. It was a
    Triumph of Rumour and Gossip over The Facts …

    “Gossip is the Devil’s radio.” – George Harrison.

    “Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth.”
    – Will Rogers

    How does Murky Merkel think she is going to be able to stop it?
    Whatever is put in place will prove a double edged sword.

    • That’s what I’m not getting. It’s not like this sort of thing is new. Gossip and yellow journalism has been part of our culture since we had culture.

      Good grief, fake news is part of what started World War 1 (reports of Austria shelling Belgrade is what started the Russian mobilization despite the Austrian army being weeks away from actually moving on Serbia).

      • Don’t forget the Spanish-American war which was started based entirely on fake news reports from known and pretend reporters. It is probably the only war ever started by a single newspaper.

      • Lies travel around the world before the truth can make it out of the door.
        “Remember the Maine!”

      • Let’s see: Clinton’s attack on Serbia, started by fake news about mass graves of hundreds of thousands of innocent Kosovans. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, started by fake news about Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Vietnam, the fake news about the Gulf of Tonkin incident gave Johnson Congressional approval to ramp up the war. Europe, fake news about the Zimmerman Telegram helped bring America into WWII.

        Fake news has started many wars. And, guess what? It all came from the Glorious Gatekeepers Of Eternal Truth.

    • Real news, as opposed to the pronouncements of the “authorities,” always originates with gossip and rumor. Cops know this, real journalists know this. You smell smoke, you look around for the fire. Might must be Joe down the street firing up the barbecue – but could also be that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow just kicked over another lantern.

      Climategate? Only gossip and rumor at first. Secret email server? Same. One can go on…

      • I would much rather sort through fake news and gossip and come to my own conclusions than have some A**hole political censors shoving what they want me to believe down my throat… And I think the 1ST amendment to the Constitution was placed 1st because of its importance. For those in politics to even suggest that our sources of information should in any way be restricted or manipulated is anathema to, perhaps, the most important freedom of all. Just the fact that Obama is saying this shows just how much he really dislikes our freedoms and is desirous for his having free reign to control us.

  16. Nothing like the old “Direct Action” approach to destroying peoples rights. The “Incremental” approach is effective but takes so long.
    Here in the US, the 2nd Amendment (gun ownership) crowd has been warning of the danger to out rights for decades. If one constitutional right goes, they all go.

    Entrusting your rights to the political left is like giving the care of your family pet over to a taxidermist. Sure, you will get it back…

    • This is a worrying trend, when several world leaders start talking like Pol Pot on the subject of free speech.

      Back around 1985, when it was alleged that increasing atmospheric CO2 would cause runaway global warming, I thought “There is no way anybody will be stupid enough to buy that nonsense.”

      I was wrong – there are plenty of people stupid enough to believe any falsehood, as long as it is repeated often enough by the usual suspects.

      As George Carlin said:
      “You know how stupid the average person is, right? Well, half of them are stupider than that!”

      Regards, Allan

      Post Script:

      Last year marked the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta, the foundation of British and USA law.
      http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/magna-carta-english-translation#sthash.lcxMkhuB.dpuf

      [39] No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

      [40] To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

      ******************************************************************************

    • Just point out that The Fifth Amendment is only as valid as The Second Amendment. That normally gives progressives pause for thought.

      • Many make the mistake of believing the U.S. Constitution protects our rights. That is not correct. The U.S. Armed Forces protect our rights. The Constitution defines how those rights are implemented in the law.

      • BobM – fixing this… The U.S. Armed Citizens protect our rights. Which includes protecting them from the U.S. Armed Forces. (That we have not had to defend them from our military is a happy accident – and very, very rare in the history of nations.)

    • “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
      Benjamin Franklin

  17. but anyone who exageratesthe the predicted consequences of climate change by ipcc is right…the more catastrophical the more true…

    • Think you’ll find that the EU in Brussels had the making of a Euro army in detailed plans but the UK was not having anything to do with that in any shape or form. Btw that Euro army is up for discussion next year. With the French most likely getting national front as the next president its going to be a very interesting decade to come. Let’s hope that the key codes have been lost.

  18. False news, eh? Like proclaiming that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was dead from bleaching when in fact most was not significantly affected. Like declaring that the rain which falls will not fill Australia’s dams. Like proclaiming that children will not know what snow is.

    It is never a good idea to use power against your opponents which you would not like them to use against you. Sooner or later the boot will be on the other foot.

  19. Did Obama just seriously refer to acid rain as a reason why sceptism is bad? The same acid rain that came from trees not the smoke stacks. He just proved our point.

  20. “Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said.

    Ninety-nine percent? It is worse than we thought.

    • President Obama has trained as a lawyer. He cites authorities to make his case. Lawyers do not investigate They do not make laws The authorities he cites are those he has been told are the correct authorities. Therfore he believes what they say.
      He has not studied Science or History, judging by his pronouncements. Maybe lawyers should be required to take courses in scientific theory

  21. Eric Worrall’s reasoning here is no better than that of Stephan Lewandowski/ By Worrall’s logic, just because Obama has linked “fake news” to climate, anyone who is concerned about fake news is also opposed to “climate deniers”

    It is as sound as linking climate science deniers to moon shot conspiracists.

    His statement: “I haven’t found a direct quote where Merkel describes climate “denial” as “fake news” ” cleary means that there isn’t one.

    • Yes, followed by “I haven’t found a direct quote where Merkel describes climate “denial” as “fake news”, but given how close she is to President Obama on this subject, this seems a reasonable assumption.” In other words, Eric provides no proof whatsoever, but it’s probably true because Merkel and Obama both agree that AGW is real and requires action.

      • thank you Andy and Chris,

        you just have destroyed my belief that WUWT commenters are not able to see that this is a constructed story about Merkel and us Germans.

        In fact, I cannot remember to have heard anything from Merkel about climate change, but surely she never said anyhing like Obama about that topic.

        Calling her a communist, just because she lived in the GDR/DDR and was in the FDJ is the same nonsense. If one did not participate, the acess to higher education was denied.

        My father was in the Hitlerjugend. With 12 years he had no other chioce. Everybody had to go there.

  22. Last evening the BBC had a long piece about the bleaching of the Northern part of the Great Barrier Reef. What is the truth?

    • 97% of the reef is in perfect condition as it has been well before humans and fossil fuels. Any damage is largely due to run off and the crown starfish. Climate change and ocean acidification are not drivers.

      • The follow up story in the last day or two was that most of the reef was essentially unaffected but a small area around Lizard Island suffered serious bleaching.As usual although the article should have been backpedaling and apologizing the damage was said to be worst evah.

        Around the main tourist areas from Cairns and Port Douglas the damage was practically nil.

      • Giff, ignore the MSM. Come and see the Great Barrier Reef. It is beautiful. The fish, the birds, the turtles as well as the coral.

      • Griff — They H-Bombed the reefs around Bikini Island. It took only 6 years for them to recover. And you are worried about a tiny (perhaps even unreal) rise in water temperature? Return to planet earth, Griff.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Coral bleaching is NOT DEAD CORAL nor even dying coral. It is simply coral that has temporarily shed its symbiotic algae partner because it got too warm. It is surely under stress, but is not dead.

    • When the warm water sloshes our way in the southern oscillation some coral spit out their symbiants and appear to bleach before repopulating with new symbiants to continue growing when conditions permit. Thus the bleaching is a lifecycle element caused by El Nino that human beings have absolutely no control over. There is sweet FA that anyone can do about bleaching.

    • “What is the truth?” Don’t worry about it. That’s now nature makes corral islands.

    • Griff, How long have they been “recording” coral die off? 1980? 1982?

      Are you sure it never happened before that? Or Wasn’t it just “not recorded”? Was it even noticed?

  23. Let falsehood and truth compete in the marketplace.

    If there is any role for government in that competition it may be in requiring sources to honestly identify themselves so that readers can judge truth both by content and by the history of the source.

    Where it is difficult or impossible to judge falsehood from truth it could be because the facts are not yet known and the outcome depends on some future discovery.

    For a government, or any authority, to pick a side in a debate and declare the opposition argument to be unlawful moves us in the direction of a new dark ages.

  24. And fake news generated by the enviro-alarmists can even fool the IPCC into including it in their report. (Re: Himalayan Glaciers melting in 30 years by Greenpeace.)

    In retrospect the fake news method was introduced and perfected by Greenpeace and their ilk many many years ago.

    • do check on the Bolivian situation where retreat of glaciers has caused water supplies to dry up and a national drought…

      • Yup, they’re saying it’s the worst drought in 25 years…must be since the last time the Glaciers melted?

      • Bolivia had huge flooding rains early in the year and La Paz Bolivia has had below normal temperatures basically all year long.

        Griff gets his news from the Guardian which is about as Fake as it gets.

        All kinds of states of emergency are declared in countries where a socialist leader is trying to hold onto power despite the term limit in the constitution.

        http://en.mercopress.com/2016/11/15/bolivia-evo-morales-admits-he-is-not-ready-to-go-home-in-2019

      • We don’t use glaciers as water supplies. We use dams.
        Using glaciers would be as bad as using windmills or solar panels for grid electricity generation.

      • Griff I think that is a really good example – I was about to post something on that myself.

        The CBC has it that the Bolivian lakes are drying up because of the melting (back) of the glaciers. This is right up there with the stories punted by Monbiot which hold that the great rivers of Asia will dry up if the Himalayan glaciers disappear. In short, that the rain will stop falling all over Eastern Asia if the glaciers are not there to catch it, or some such.

        If it is warmer in Bolivia up at the top of the mountains, why would it stop precipitating? If the melting of the glaciers is caused by ‘global warming’ then it is supposed to be rainier, not dryer. The rain would flow down in torrents into the dry plans, right? It appears they believe glaciers make it rain. If that is the case, watch out Antarctica!

        The CBC didn’t punt the stupid arguments about rain stopping because the glaciers were smaller, they concentrated on the glaciers melting (which creates rivers). Huh – melt a glacier and the river stops running. There’s logic for you. The more water you melt away, the smaller the rivers get.

        So, Griff, as the glacier melting argument is about the stupidest ever floated about why there is a drought in Bolivia or anywhere else, what are we to do with the people promoting this fake news? If the rain stopped and the glaciers melted, the rivers would continue to be there. If the glaciers were stable, the rivers would exactly equal the rain and melted snowfall volume. If the glaciers are extending, logically the only reason would be that the precipitation exceeded the seasonal melt. I wonder where the CBC thinks the glaciers mass come from.

        The CBC had on a snowflake lady who said that the shrinking of the glaciers in Bolivia was caused by ‘the El Nino’. That part she got right. Then she said that the El Nino was caused by climate change. No kidding. You just can’t fix stupid. Even the most shill alarmist doesn’t think that the ENSO is ’caused by global warming’, do they? I have seen hundreds of stupid and unsupportable, illogical, false and faked things said by CAGW alarmists but not once have they said something like that – at least they have a modicum of understanding of the phenomenon. No so, the CBC or its carefully selected interviewees. They have unearthed at the bottom of Pit of Credulity a new level of ignorance about the weather. Only in Canada, eh?

        Of course the drought in Bolivia is caused by the El Nino – just like last time! A whole 25 years ago. Gee. The world is going to end tomorrow. Not.

        Something rather more pertinent is that the average global temperature dropped 1.0 C in the past 5 months. Put that in your glacier and melt it, Bolivia.

      • That they made the mistake in the first place is news. Why do you want a different standard depending on whether or not you agree with the source?

      • Chris November 29, 2016 at 8:07 am says;

        “Nice deflection.”

        It is quite funny that you say that, since Griff, Seaice, and Gareth have studiously avoided the subject of the post. So sick of deluded fools who cannot even see their own hypocritical tap dancing around any subject that shows how dangerous their lack of understanding is. Stick to the thread topic, if you dare.

      • Retreat of glaciers cause a national drought? Isn’t that labeling a symptom as the malady? Glaciers are merely slow moving rivers. One doesn’t blame the creek drying up as the cause for the drought. One might think that drought might be the reason the glaciers are receding, not the other way round.

  25. concept in German criminal law that refers to incitement to hatred against segments of the population

    I don’t feel I have any need to incite to hatred against segments of the population, however, I find it increasingly uneasy how conveniently the “segment of population” may be defined and re-defined to exclude segments like meat-eaters or republicans – and at the same time, the definition of incitement can include, at worst, important and plainly factual statements should they be condemning.

    If incitement means purposefully or carelessly making people incited to a level they attack people or their property (Kristallnacht, lynching, etc..) I’m strongly for criminal law criminalizing that. The problem is in the details how careless writing and re-writing such a law may cause significant practical limitations to important free speech.

    One such example can be taken from Finland where purposefully testing the law – and a named attorney general – by rhetorically calling a historical child rapist as a paedophile was considered hurting religious rights which are protected by the law. Historically the bill criminalized blasphemy.

    How come we are entertaining such laws is beyond unbelievable. The attorney general who took this to the court, is of course, a known progressive cause activist. The careless member of the public was punished by the Highest Court. The member of the public got some good bad publicity and is now a member of the European Parlament.

    • “concept in German criminal law that refers to incitement to hatred against segments of the population”

      Jesse Jackson and Lewis Farrakan, and Al Sharpton and Obama better steer clear of Germany then. They incite hatred against whites and conservatives all the time. Al has his own tv show he can do it on. Better stay in the U.S., Al. I guess they cut Obama some slack over there since he and Merkel are on the same page.

    • They didn’t poll anyone. They invited responses from anyone in the USA that called themselves a scientist and did not count anyone who disagreed. So you could say they polled 6.2 million scientists.

    • seaice1

      If what you say is correct (and I have no reason to doubt it) then they invited 6.2m and they polled those who showed up. Obviously grifters should have been concerned enough to do so.

      I don’t know why so many people are concerned about the numbers. It only takes one perspicacious observer to prove a that multitude has misunderstood something.

  26. Under German Law, Merkel has the power to prosecute or imprison people who voice proscribed opinions.

    Volksverhetzung […] is a concept in German criminal law that refers to incitement to hatred against segments of the population and refers to calls for […] arbitrary measures against them

    Well, those who “voice proscribed opinions” definitely comprise a “segment of population”, so Angela Merkel, by prosecuting or imprisoning them, surely commits Volksverhetzung, in fact, a bit more than that, because she does not merely calls for action, but acts. Therefore she should prosecute or imprison herself as soon as practicable, shouldn’t she?

    • “she will go down in history as a destroyer of Germany”

      Maybe the whole of Europe, if they don’t watch out. Merkel has brought the enemy into the camp in overwhelming numbers.

      • “Maybe the whole of Europe”

        Certainly the EU. Merkel’s Migrant Millions are the motivation behind the sudden rediscovery of nationalism across Europe, and one of the motivations for Trump’s election. Inviting them in to Germany will probably down in history as a decision as stupid as Hilter’s invasion of Russia.

  27. “hate speech” = political and social opinions, and inconvenient facts, unapproved of by the establishment.

    The notion that journalists meet standards of due diligence would be hysterically funny if her sentiments weren’t so blatantly fascist. It seems that the Establishment has come to realise that they can no longer control the narrative using broadcast media, as populations are voting the wrong way.

    • “It seems that the Establishment has come to realise that they can no longer control the narrative using broadcast media, as populations are voting the wrong way.”

      I think that is the explanation. They think they are the natural leaders and when they see their socialist ideology voted out of office, they can’t admit it is their fault, so they try to find fault elsewhere, and free speech becomes their target.

      They think free speech has distorted their record, but it has actually revealed their record and that’s why they are losing, on their record, not because their record was exposed.

  28. there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of.
    ==============
    only thing was, the facts were later shown to be wrong.

    The “facts” on any subject are limited by what we know today. If we learn something new tomorrow that contradicts what we know today, these “new” facts will always be false facts under Obama’s criteria, no matter how true they actually are.

    ask yourself for example why there is a civil war in Syria. Why was the US so keen to remove Assad from power? Why is Russia so keen to prevent this? Is this really a struggle about good and evil, or is it a struggle about who controls the oil and gas pipelines to Europe, and thus controls Europe?

    One persons truth is the other persons propaganda.

    • The winners always write history in their own truth. That is why one must always be on the winning side.

    • Do you really believe that Obama started that war in order to build a pipeline through Syria? Despite the fact that he has done everything in his power to prevent pipelines from being built in the US.

  29. The west will collapse because the people who are successful at grabbing the wheel have never bothered to learn how to navigate….and icebergs are forecast…

  30. Censorship is coming.
    The Socialists tried to bring this in to Australia under the Labor party – I suspect they will try again next time they get voted in.

    • History is littered with “disobedience”, the English under French rule for instance. Oppression never wins.

      • Oppression never wins.

        Yes it does. Ask the millions who are/were tortured and murdered throughout history. There’s no technical difference between “winning” and “predominating.” Freedom is just a tiny island in an ocean of oppression, historically and right now.

  31. I wrote a comment comparing the logic of this article to that of Stephan Lewandowski – and not in a good way.

    My comment never appeared. I really hope that this is because of some problem my side (e.g. maybe use of the cons-acy word) rather than it being actively blocked

    • “rather than it being actively blocked”

      I don’t think you are being actively blocked. You probably used a word that causes your post to go into moderation. And the website does seem to be having a few glitches around posting. There seem to have been a lot more complaints over the last few weeks than is normal.

      They are not picking on you. :)

      • “You’re already restricted to have an opinion in Germany anyway.”

        I’m reminded of the trouble a German comedian got into by making fun of Erdogan, the leader of Turkey. The Germans were thinking about prosecuting the guy. That’s a pretty severe restriction on a person’s speech, when a comedian can’t even make fun of a foreign leader. Erdogan didn’t like it, and I guess that’s all that mattered to the German authorities.

        Free speech is in serious trouble in all of Europe.

  32. Zero chance of this happening, literally none, not least because there’s also a very real chance Merkel will be gone this time next year. Change is in the air.

    • I think we ought to compare lists of fake news. The Leftists can generate their list, and then we can generate our list. I’m thinking our list will be several orders of magnitude greater than their list. :)

  33. It’s starting to make Putin look like a good guy loved by his people.

    I know the US has many checks and balances but I feel it has just escaped one big time bomb when it elected Pres-elect Trump. Eight more years of this Obama and Dem State AG nonsense would make US freedoms unrecognizable.

  34. Merkel has confirmed plans to rapidly expand the scope and size of Germany’s intelligence services including its domestic spy agency. What you can take from this that the days of the Stasi or Gehiemes Staat Polizei are back.

    Government is now the arbiter of truth – that’s the real meaning of Post Truth

    In the EU whenever there is an Islamic terror attack, the political class and the media immediately focus on the bogeyman of far-right violence toward muslims. Of course it never materialises, and it succeeds in portraying the muslims as the real victims.

    That’s what counts.

    • “media immediately focus on the bogeyman of far-right violence”

      Yeah, and it’s always called the FAR-right in Europe, in an effort to make them appear extreme and radical. It’s never just the Right.

      And of course, they never say FAR-Left. Can’t have that.

      • The problem that for most of the elite in Europe, socialists are right wing.
        Anyone to the right of a socialist immediately gets labeled as far-right.

  35. Merkel has confirmed plans to rapidly expand the scope and size of Germany’s intelligence services including its domestic spy agency. What you can take from this that the days of the Stasi or Gestapo are back.

    Government is now the arbiter of truth – that’s the real meaning of Post Truth

    In the EU whenever there is an attack by members of a certain faith, the politicians and the media immediately focus on the bogeyman of far right violence toward muslims. Of course it never materialises, and it succeeds in portraying the entire membership of that faith group as the real victims.

    That’s what counts.

  36. “and nothing is true,” Obama told me later. “An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll.”

    An explanation from a Nobel Peace price winner looks not that different to the statement of the Colonia head of police who lacks enough troops to defend women on the town place before ‘northafrican migrant’ offenders.

    http://m.spiegel.de/international/germany/22-germans-speak-about-challenges-of-integrating-refugees-a-1075661.html

    http://m.spiegel.de/international/germany/refugee-hostels-in-germany-beset-by-sexual-assault-a-1091681.html

  37. Given that the internet hosts images of rape, murder child pornography and genuine hate preachers, isn’t it sickening that ‘fake’ news is what concerns these people?

  38. With the US just coming out of an election, I am somewhat amazed at what we avoided here.
    One theme in the election was that “fact checkers” cited by the legacy media were blatantly supporting one political party, the Democrats, and their pet causes, like CAGW and Keynesian economics.
    Another theme was the malign effect of “fake news” on the internet, which in one sense was real (mostly obvious conspiracy theories and malign gossip about candidates) and in another, anything that contradicted the legacy media.
    A theme by the Democrats was to change the US constitution to override the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision (which gave corporations [including membership organizations] and labor unions free speech rights) by amending the Constitution. The proposed wording of the new amendment was every bit as “gummi” as the German law. In some readings of the proposals, the government would be able to restrict the funding for speech of some groups, at the government’s discression. I am a member of a group that ran anti-Hiilary Clinton ads (not associated with climate change issues) that she almost certainly defines as part of the “basket of deplorables”. By that standard, we would have fewer rights as a group than individually.

    • The McCain-Feingold law that was over turned by the courts actually had a provision that stated that nobody other than the candidates themselves could comment on a election in the 30 days prior to the election. The only exception to this ban was for reporters. And who gets to decide who is and who isn’t a reporter? The government of course.

  39. Obama and Merkel’s arguments are so transparent – claiming that “we gotten control of the press and books”
    and speech – they are now “regulated.” Not exactly – they face laws against slander and libel. So what is different about speech and text on the internet? Those laws apply there as well.
    Obama’s propaganda outlets – the LA Times, the NY Times and the Wash Post, all coastal publications,
    could all rightly be called fake news outlets, at least as far as climate science is concerned – we need to go back thru all of the things those rags published about global warming and methodically shred them.

  40. Would censorship by any other name stink any less?
    Climate Change has become the new Phrenology – an official state religion.

    • ….think more along the line of when eugenics was the popular delusion of the left and you will have a better insight of where these intellectual midgets are currently heading.

      • Agreed ferdb

        It was very popular 1900-1930. Planned Parenthood is one of its spawn (which really surprised me when I found out the whole history).

  41. So now that the internet is being turned over to international control you can expect more freedom of speech going by-by. Anthony, your site will be banded in Germany.

  42. When exactly did ‘Freedom of Speech’ (Press) come to include a requirement for ‘due diligence’? Who gets to decide if the ‘diligence’ a member of the press has exercised is sufficiently ‘due’? That may be one of the single most frightening things Merkel has said. She expects the well trained sheep to follow along with the imposition of a dictatorship over information?

  43. Maybe this is why John Cook has been seen wearing a Nazi uniform, he’s just interviewing for a job with a German chancellery.

  44. “German Law, unlike the US Constitution, does not provide a guarantee of free speech.”
    Wrong. Dead Wrong. Check the facts. Here: The German Grundgesetz.

    “Article 5
    [Freedom of expression, arts and sciences]

    (1) Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing and pictures, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.”

    • You forgot the “rest of the story” (as detailed by Michael Palmer):

      (2) These rights find their limits in the provisions of the general laws, the legal provisions for the protection of youth, and the right of personal honor.

      (3) Art and science, research and teaching are free. Academic freedom does not absolve from fidelity to the constitution.

      Sorry, that is not freedom when they “find their limits” in general laws. That is censored speech. Based upon the prevailing winds of government at the time.

  45. This may actually turn out to be good news by way of forcing the debate into a court room much like “An Inconvenient Truth” was in the UK.

  46. When OlBlame-0 is with Merkel the world is treated to the Joint inanity of Merkel and Urkel. What a Truth squad! Cannot believe Merkel is a physicist. How does the Great nation of Germany burden itself with such a pitiful and incoherent Leader. Have we seen this horror before. What the hell is the matter with you Sour Krauts?

    • “Cannot believe Merkel is a physicist.”

      It’s not the profession itself, it’s what you do with it. Remember, Mengele had a doctorate in medicine.

  47. She is merely implementing the policies of her former country, the DDR. As Obama is trying to do as well. They cannot compete in a free society, so must control information and the people through whatever means they can dream up.

    It is a sad time, and Kruschev’s prediction is coming true – even after the death of his nation.

    • +10. Obama is a traitor to the Constitution. He and he alone trashed the first worldwide free speech zone. Even as he, in his petty intellectual cowardice ignorantly and cowardly flees from debate and discussion. Merkel grew up a nasty commie rat in nasty commie tyranny. Obama grew up in America and still hates our freedom.

      • This is a History Channel re accounting of Nikita Kruschev’s rant at the UN in 1956…with his son providing needed perspective, insight, and translation.

        Still, his meaning rings true in what we see going on in the western world today. Socialism creep into the educational systems, the political systems, and the hearts and minds of the everyday (uninformed) citizenry.

        The US of A has indeed averted a slide into the socialist abyss with the Presidential election results this year. However, and unfortunately, the media appears to be doubling down with the recent “Fake News” meme, and I am growing increasingly tired of reading and hearing of their petulance. They cannot fathom that the US populace does not want to be controlled by a select few through a socialistic governmental approach.

        And – I have just yesterday, cancelled my print subscription to my local newspaper – they have increased the monthly rate to USD $42.03 per month, and with the unrepentant attitudes I see in the editorials page and syndicated columns chosen to be printed, I have finally had enough. Please welcome me into the wholly-electronic world of obtaining my news, weather, and sports!!

        Regards,

        MCR

  48. “The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.”

    –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632

  49. Section 5 of the German constitution reads:

    (1) Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate his opinion in words, writing and images, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press, broadcast, and movies are guaranteed. A censorship does not take place.

    (2) These rights find their limits in the provisions of the general laws, the legal provisions for the protection of youth, and the right of personal honor.

    (3) Art and science, research and teaching are free. Academic freedom does not absolve from fidelity to the constitution.

    It would oblige the Bundesverfassungsgericht (constitutional court) to test each law that proposes to limit the rights expressed in this paragraph for excessive infringement. It is a common occurrence that this court rejects (and thus, invalidates) legislation passed by the parliament.

    I guess these provisions are very similar to those of other democratic countries, and indeed I can perceive little difference in how German and English or North American media exercise their rights; in reality, both are limited much more by their own biases, stupidity, and laziness, and probably by “guidance” from the owners, than they are limited by any laws.

    As a German citizen, I detest and distrust Angela Merkel as much as anyone, but neither she nor her parliamentary super-majority will find it possible to substantially change the legal situation.

    • A 5 minute google search suggests what you’ve written is largely nonsense, as the exceptions to the general principles of freedom of speech are what are of concern. For example, section 166:

      (1) Whoever publicly or through dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) insults the content of others’ religious faith or faith related to a philosophy of life in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.

      (2) Whoever publicly or through dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) insults a church, other religious society, or organization dedicated to a philosophy of life located in Germany, or their institutions or customs in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall be similarly punished.

      Or section 130 which is even worse:

      (1) Whoever, in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace:

      1. incites hatred against segments of the population or calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them; or

      2. assaults the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population,

      shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to five years.

      ***

      Or in other words, if you are critical of a religious claim or hurt a ‘group’s’ feelings, you can be imprisoned. Not really satisfactory, is it?

      • Will, please work on your reading comprehension. What you cite are special laws as subsumed by the second paragraph:

        (2) These rights find their limits in the provisions of the general laws, the legal provisions for the protection of youth, and the right of personal honor.

        Whether or not you find those protections of religious sensibilities excessive — for the record, I do, too — it is a stretch to assume that the warmist cult will come to enjoy the same kind of protection. Even if parliament — which admittedly is chock-full of nitwits these days — should pass such legislation, it would in all likelihood be thrown out by the Constitutional Court.

      • Your response strikes me as delusional. You defend the use of such undefined language as reasonable because it’s countered by equally vague language. I expect the world is divided into those who have had to run Court cases (myself unfortunately), and those who never had. The never hads being clueless about the extreme dangers of vague and ambiguous wording in laws.

      • Will, you are using imprecise language yourself — it is fine if you find my arguments unconvincing, but that is not the same as “delusional.” That lack of discipline in your language, like your selective reading comprehension, can’t have helped in those court cases of yours.

        While I agree with you that some of the specific rules you cited unduly limit freedom of speech, there is nothing in them that can be twisted into limiting the freedom to state scientific opinions. BTW the German regulations are quite similar to the ones we have here in Canada. I do prefer the US law in principle, but so far it has made little difference in practice.

      • If you lack of understanding and experience makes you unable to comprehend the points I am making, you might want to do more reading on the topic. There is limits to what can be explained to someone in a comments section of a forum, particularly if they unaware of the subject matter. You might want to read up on “section 18c” in Australia or “Bill C 16” in Canada, as examples. Here is a random selection of articles you can read to get you started. I’m sure there are better ones but I only spent 10 seconds googling.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380971/Simon-Ledger-arrested-racism-performing-Kung-Fu-Fighting.html

        https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/jordan-peterson-exposes-the-creeping-dictatorship-of-gender-rights-movement

        “Delusional” was probably the wrong word to use in your case. Probably “ignorant” would be more accurate, perhaps.

  50. Germany and other countries (including the United States) ought to pass a law against media activism masquerading as news. When I was in the Army, I maintained the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. One of the requirements when you discovered a defect, was to identify the cause. The instructions stated that you had to identify opinion as such. (Actually, the paperwork requirements for nukes were not too bad).

  51. I predicted that the corrupt, anti-freedom, cowardly, parasitic, hateful, losers on the left would eventually come for climate skeptics. And the disgusting climate true believers, like the miserable trolls who post their hateful bilge here and everywhere that skeptics post will cheer it on. Obama deserves to be hated by everyone who values freedom of only for his betrayal of a free internet.

  52. Merkel: “We have regulations that allow for our press freedom, including the requirement for due diligence from journalists.”

    “Due diligence” from journalists? On climate science? That is the DEFINITION of fake news.

    • most journalists today just copy-n-paste press releases. They do no due diligence at all, and if they had to they’d close down leaving the only source of news, internet blogs.

    • “Merkel: “We have regulations that allow for our press freedom”

      We are so glad you deign to allow press freedom. Here in the U.S. we think free speech is an innate human right, not one that’s only allowed by another human being. You can stick your “allow’ where the sun don’t shine.

  53. History warns us to be very wary of ideological extremist Germans like Merkel using sciencey sounding politics as an excuse to clean up things those extremists find annoying.

  54. [mod – this is more or less a duplicate of another post that seems to have gotten lost in transmission. If that other one is still in the queue, please discard either one. Thank you.]

    The fifth paragraph of the German constitution reads (translation by Dr. Google with minor edits):

    (1) Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate his opinion in words, writing and images, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press, broadcast and movies are guaranteed. A censorship does not take place.

    (2) These rights find their limits in the provisions of the general laws, the legal provisions for the protection of youth, and the right of personal honor.

    (3) Art and science, research and teaching are free. The freedom of doctrine does not absolve from fidelity to the constitution.

    It obliges the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) to test any law passed by parliament for infringement on the constitution, and indeed this court has struck down a fair number of laws over the years. I detest and distrust Merkel as much as anyone, but she will not try to change this situation.

    As understand it, these legal provisions are quite similar to those of other democratic countries, and in fact I do not see any difference in the exercise of these rights between Germany (where I used to live for 40 years) and North America (where I live now). In practice, both German and North American media are limited much more by their own biases, stupidity, and laziness, by political correctness, as well as by economic pressures and “guidance” provided by their owners, than by any laws. On the other hand, independent forums such as this one exist on both sides of the pond as well.

  55. Current events have answered a long standing dilemma: how could the people of Germany have accepted someone like Hitler?

    • He promised to cancel the treaty of Versailles – and kept this promise. He promised to make Germany great again -he kept this promise as well, but just for a limited time. He promised to erase unemployment and he kept that promise as well. But finally things started to go terribly wrong.

      • Starting in 1933 after his election, Hitler and the Nazi Party took over every single non-governmental social organization in the country, right down to the hiking clubs and book groups, and Nazified them. No independence at all was brooked.

        He also immediately began persecuting the Jews and dismissing them, first, from government positions, all of which became progressively worse. Private businesses were “Aryanized” (fire all Jews), and Jewish owned businesses were required sold to those owned and run by ethnically acceptable Germans.

        A national policy of eugenics was instigated, including forcible sterilization and certain marriages forbidden, and political dissidents, especially Social Democrats and Communists, were sent to prison and concentration camps.

        When Hitler was elected and the Nazis came to power, Goebbels announced proudly that individualism was finally dead. Collective morality (read Nazi ideas) was enforced and the entire state was forcibly organized. Progressives of the day saw all that as ideal, until the break with the Soviet Union.

        There’s nothing to be proud of, or happy with, in the lot of it.

    • Even if that’s not the case, the reason conspiracy theories were rife in the Soviet Union was because the people knew the media lied to them all the time, so they’d believe anything that wasn’t reported in the media. We saw something similar in the run-up to the election: Americans knew the media was deep in the trough for Clinton, so they’d believe this ‘fake news’ about Clinton because the media refused to touch it, even to prove it wasn’t true.

      The more the media are shown to be just another arm of government, the less power they have.

      • Excellent observation. A corrupt media, even one self corrupted, no longer merits the confidence of the people.

  56. I suspect part of this is also driven by the dinosaur media. The presstitutes blew their load for Clinton, and now Trump isn’t even talking to them, except to insult them. They’ve gone from the glorious gatekeepers and valiant champions of freedom to irrelevant in just a few months.

    Clearly they’d love to be The Official Gatekeepers Of Truth again, and have all other ‘news’ banned.

  57. The huge irony here, is that what merkel is against is the plethora of stories on the internet. But because she’s a dinosaur from the old days of press dominance of the news, she still thinks of censorship in terms of strop the oMSM printing stories.

    In fact, all she will do by attacking the oMSM is to empower the nMSM – which is where all the stories she dislikes anyone hearing are circulating.
    oMSM = once Mainstream Media
    nMSM = new Mainstream Media = Social media

  58. President Obama’s comments are certainly a comment of misinformation. By singling out explanations by a “Nobel-prize winning physicist” and “somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll” as looking “exactly the same” he implies that one is undoubtedly correct, one is undoubtedly incorrect — and that the reader *cannot* tell the difference. Perhaps that’s true for President Obama, it would explain so much.

    I wonder who it is he had in mind. I reviewed the list of nobel prize winners in physics and recognize none of them as participants in the climate wars. None of the nobel touts for their works mention climate. I know of no reason why any of them would be considered more expert on the subject than (for example) Freeman Dyson. “Somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll” might actually include an actual climate scientist, though again I’m curious who the president had in mind. The letter at KochFacts.com shows them declining to give any information to Boxer, Markey, and Whitehouse’s fishing expedition.

    The quote that “everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” introduces a *brand new* “fact”, upgrading the traditional 97% to 99%, and reformulating the generally accepted “anthropogenic emissions affect climate” into the completely incompatible with history and geology concept that climate change “is the consequence of man-made behavior.” All hail the denier-in-chief.

    But even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and pretend he’s only thinking of the marginal climatic effect of man-made behavior, he skips a step by moving directly to “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it.” Actually, the next step would be to decide *whether* to fix it. We’ve warned about 1C since the late 19th century (a significant chunk of which happened prior to 1950), with *no net harm* being demonstrated by absolutely anybody. I have little faith in the damage estimates in the IPCC, but they are small potatoes in contrast to the assumed economic growth. Even if it were possible to wholly mitigate global warming, it would make little sense for a comparatively poorer world of 2016 to make large sacrifices for the benefit of a comparatively much richer world of 2100. It makes even less sense when attempted mitigation strategies suppress economic growth, harming both 2016 and 2100. Does anyone seriously believe we would be better off today if the world of 1896 decided to voluntarily forgo the use of oil and coal, in hopes of saving us from the terrible consequences of a 1C rise in temperature?

    • “I wonder who it is he had in mind. I reviewed the list of nobel prize winners in physics and recognize none of them as participants in the climate wars. None of the nobel touts for their works mention climate.”

      Obama may have been referring to himself when talking about a Nobel prize winner. He likes to talk about himself a lot.

      • Don’t forget “…flashy (apparently widely distributed)”- Michael E. Man self-proclaimed Nobel Laureate

  59. “An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll.”

    An explanation from a Nobel Prize-sinning politician looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change science by somebody on the same payroll- There fixed.

  60. No one cares what this pair of morons say or think. Obama is a vaguely ridiculous has-been lousy potus and Merkel is the woman who made the single most mind-bogglingly stupid decision in the entire history of politics. Both are the walking dead and it’s great to see them now stripped of their Emperor’s New Ethics and in their final desperation revealing themselves on the World stage as the vile totalitarians they truly are.

    I suppose it isn’t too surprising that people with the ignorance and arrogance to think they can control the planetary climate would also think it’s a trivial matter to control the internet and what people discuss. It’s a wonderful time to be alive and watching these creatures drown in their own night soil.

    • The Volstead Act is a good example of how not to do it. Although prohibited by law, there were exemptions and speakeasies galore, and you could buy liquor by the gallon virtually at every corner. I expect something very similar to happen here. But it’s not nice to know the Deutsche Demokratische Gestapo having a nark in every family with the Blockwart monitoring.

    • Attacking Moscow wasn’t a good plan either if you’re looking at bad decisions, didn’t work out too well for a couple of tyrants we had to deal with in the past.

      • I’ve read that the attack could have succeeded had the German’s treated the people who lived in areas they had captured from the Russians. The people in these regions hated the Russians and would have voluntarily helped the German’s in their continuing attacks.
        Instead the Germans treated those people worse than the Russians did, and as a result had to station troops in these regions to keep them pacified.

    • “. . . most mind-bogglingly stupid decision in the entire history of politics. ”
      A strong case can be made that it [I assume you refer to mass refugee importation] belongs on the shortlist*, but there are others which arguably should go higher on that list. A couple I can think of offhand: US intervention in World War One, and Germany returning Lenin to Russia.

      * If ‘stupid political decision’ is defined as one that produces the opposite of the intended result, and assuming that the refugee decision was intended to benefit German civilization, it certainly qualifies. However, if one makes the hardly untoward assumption that it was intended to destroy German civilization, it must rank as one of the most brilliant decisions in the entire history of politics.

  61. Looks like you can take the girl out of fascist East Germany, but you can’t the fascist East German out of the girl.

  62. From Pointman’s blog (link given in his comment above):

    Angela’s next blunder was to invite one and all war refugees from the Arab world into Europe. Come one, come all, and they did. As it turned out, the vast majority of them weren’t war refugees or not even economic migrants; they were welfare refugees and the bottom scrapings of the barrel in the Arab world, which is why no other Arab country would touch them with a barge pole.

    (…)

    Unfortunately the problems with such a massive influx of shiftless foreign people doesn’t end there. They also brought with them a rape culture, a complete disregard for women, never mind their rights. Sexual assaults on women and children, both female and male, have gone through the roof.

    The mass sexual assaults in German cities last New Year’s Eve were studiously not reported by the Politically Correct MSM. They only became widely known due to being reported and discussed in on-line social media. The sort of thing that would be suppressed under Angela’s crackdown on social media.

  63. There’s a good chance that Angular Merkin won’t see her fourth term in office. The German people aren’t very enthused about having nigh on a million fake refugees dumped on them and told it is they who must conform, not the illegals.

  64. Don’t forget Facebook founder Zuckerberg caught on a hot mic promising Merkel to help her get rid of objectionable content on Facebook. This was in 2015 as is an easy search if you want to find more detail.

    Not Your Friends.

  65. The Fake News narrative the Establishment is trying to create is, of course, itself fake news. In the first versions of this narrative I saw a few weeks ago, the Russians were blamed for the Fake News on the internet. Now that this claim has been laughed at, the new villains are “fake sites, bots, trolls”. The beauty of this being that, unlike the Russians, nobody can objectively define what a “fake site” or “troll” is, nor has anyone ever seen a “bot”. Producing evidence, therefore, will no longer be required.

    • The old, odd story: create an enemy outside your cosy little empire and bully under such a false pretense your ‘enemies’ inside. Mutti Macchiavelli Merkel?

  66. Merkel, Obama and Ban Ki-Moon should sit down and read the universal declaration of human rights:

    Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. 

    Article 2. 
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion …

    Article 19.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Hypocrits.

    “It can’t happen here” is always wrong: a dictatorship can happen anywhere.”
    ― Karl Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography

  67. Flake News

    Clinton has dispatched her considerable force of surrogates, including, in addition to her husband, both the president and the first lady. Having had little use for politics when she came to Washington with considerable dread, Michelle Obama has unexpectedly become the star speaker of the campaign. Joe Biden, campaigning in rust-belt areas, has tried to reconnect blue-collar workers with their previous home in the Democratic Party. There are still enough days left for the unexpected to occur, but Trump is increasingly coming across as a bloated and broken figure.

    Trump is without question the greatest whiner of any presidential candidate in memory: his mic was tampered with as part of a conspiracy; Clinton got the debate questions ahead of time; and, of course, the election is rigged against him. And so this sad, rasping heap of a man, a former formidable figure, shambles his way toward a humiliating defeat; his blustering and threatening, once instruments of strength, pitiable.

    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/10/25/down-goes-trump-toward-humiliating-defeat/

    • his mic was tampered with as part of a conspiracy; Clinton got the debate questions ahead of time;

      And of course as we found out, his Mic was defective and Hillary DID get questions beforehand.

      Guess Trump is looking prescient instead of whiny now!

  68. Great article, by the way. That our lame duck anti-freedom deceitful President singled out climate skeptics as a way to demonstrate how he much he despises free speech and open discussion should send shivers down the spines of us all. This pathetic clown of a President really does hate us and really wishes us harm. He is a truly nasty combination of ignorance and bad intentions
    We are all going to be the better when Mr. Obama is far from the levers of power.

  69. And exactly how will you crack down on all the fakening going on Ange?
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/beware-the-fakening/news-story/2613bd13e58ad75468e4ac2718a400a2
    If they self-identify with these things isn’t that all that matters for Leftist Victimhood 101? You don’t think the growing affliction has something to do with wrapping the precious little petals in cotton wool with safe spaces and trigger warnings, or is it the illicit drug problem?

  70. Unbelievable! Eric Worrall made here a completely constructed story about Merkel. Statements like “Under German Law, Merkel has the power to prosecute or imprison people who voice proscribed opinions.” is just rubbish.

    Merkel has the same right to inform against somebody as any citicen in Germany. If it comes to court, that`s the matter of an attorney.

    Somebody who believes to know what other people are planning or thinking without any proof, equals to a dog talking about laying eggs.

    • I think your own ignorance is the problem here. A government authority will typically bring a court case against anyone whose opinions they disagree with, if particular laws are sufficiently ambiguous, which usually they are. This is the case in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany. And many other Western countries. Here the process is the punishment. You can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions, even when you ‘win’ the case. Because you seldom recover fully your court costs. You get back what the Court decides to grant you. Because of the US constitution, the only redeeming feature the US has over other countries, is that ultimately the case would or should be lost on freedom of speech grounds. Although that doesn’t necessarily get your money back either. Ask Mark Steyn.

      • I neglected to add that it is almost always government authorities that bring such actions against their citizens. It is extremely rare that fellow citizens commence such actions against others. This is because government authorities have (in practical terms) unlimited financial resources, and it’s not their money anyway. So if they ‘lose’ they don’t particularly care. The point of the exercise is to punish dissenting opinion, not necessarily to ‘win’ the case. Although they would prefer to also win.

    • This site seems to have been taken over by Alt-Right tin foilers. Shame, really. I am also on the Right. But I’m not Alt-Right. Alt-Right is faux “Right” – it’s actually a revolutionary movement. Maybe closer to Soviet Communism and / or Fascism than its adherents would care to consider.

      • The “alt right” – whatever or whoever they are – all seven of them I suspect, are the new Emmanuel Goldstein’s of the Left.

      • Nah, just another bunch of hipsters on a new fad. They have their own language, hairstyles and clothes.

        The Alt-Right are just a bunch of lightweights indulging in irony and self satirization. We won’t remember them within a year.

  71. The political correct mass media say they don’t censure news, instead they now do fact checking. In other words, the Orwellian newspeak for censorship is “fact checking”. The facts are of course only what the politically correct journalists define as facts. Divergence of views are no longer allowed.

    • You can’t fact check stories you make up. Although since any clown wants to be a media expert it’s not difficult for broadcast media to come up with an ‘expert’ that agrees with whatever angle they are peddling. This is what now passes for ‘fact checking’ these days, if they even bother to do that.

  72. Everybody go look up ”PIZZAGATE” at YouTube. This is what the ”fake news” thing is about to a significant degree.

  73. Well, this reinforces my perception that the technically skilled tend to be proportionately socially inept (Dr. Strangelove…).

    If Merkel’s “idea” of protecting the public from its own stupidity (Big Sister, yeah!) flies, maybe Trump will be accused of “News Fakery” before the World Court (which the US doesn’t recognize).

    And maybe the US State Department would in turn declare Merkel an “Undesirable Alien”, as it did former UN Secretary General and (at the time) President of Austria, Kurt Waldheim.

    May you live in interesting times, as the Chinese curse goes…

    Here’s a thought. Try to get funding to create a documented list of “fake news” globally propagated over the period since the end of World War II.

    A few suggestions:

    The German Wehrmacht/SS massacre of the Polish Officer Corps at Katyn Wood (nyet)

    The Tang Shan earthquake of 1976 killed only 10,000 people (bu dui)

    The Iraqui invaders’ murder of premature babies in Kuwait (whoa Nellie!)

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