ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for January 2011

Glenn Beck, His Racism And Fox’s Reply.

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I wouldn’t normally want to cover Glenn Beck, as Adam Holland has done such a fine job in chronicling Beck’s decline, but I noticed a disturbing piece in the Washington Post:

After MSNBC let go Keith Olbermann last week, Glenn Beck couldn’t resist celebrating. "Keith Olbermann is the biggest pain in the ass in the world," he judged.

But Olbermann’s departure really should give Beck pause: With political speech coming under new scrutiny, how much longer can Beck’s brutal routine continue at Fox News?

The latest omen of Beck’s end times came on Thursday – Holocaust Remembrance Day – when 400 rabbis representing all four branches of American Judaism took out an ad demanding that Beck be sanctioned for "monstrous" and "beyond repugnant" use of "anti-Semitic imagery" in going after Holocaust survivor George Soros. ”

This bit shows how Fox News simply ignores the question of Beck’s racism and how he helps to bring antisemitism into the mainstream media:

“A Fox News spokesman brushed off the complaint in the usual fashion, attributing it to a "Soros-backed left-wing political organization." But that’s not going to fly: The statement’s signatories included the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and his predecessor, the dean of the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical school and a number of orthodox rabbis.

“Beck has outlasted past complaints over his race baiting, his violent words and his conspiracy theories. He’s not new to questionable talk about Jews (years ago he called Barbra Streisand a "big-nosed cross-eyed freak"), and for the past couple of years his Nazi accusations against opponents have come by the hundreds.

But in June, he promoted on air the work of a Nazi sympathizer, Elizabeth Dilling, who had referred, in writings Beck didn’t mention, to Eisenhower as "Ike the kike" and Kennedy’s New Frontier as the "Jew Frontier." A few days later, Beck referred to Soros’s Jewish ancestry, accused him of currency manipulation and said "he’s got disturbing hair in his nose." ”

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Written by modernityblog

31/01/2011 at 07:04

On Egypt.

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Labourstart has a good news feed on events in Egypt.

Now Unions have joined in it seems just a matter of time before Mubarak goes.

It is apparent that Mubarak appointed a Vice President in the hope that should he be thrown out, his successor would look after him. Mubarak’s son has fled and so he saw the writing on the wall.

I suppose it just a case of where will Mubarak go? Saudi Arabia? Or London (maybe even Paris, it seems very popular with rich dictators and their families).

Good riddance.

And when he does go it should be amusing to see how Western governments fall over themselves to explain away their decades long support for Mubarak’s dictatorship with materials, armaments and masses of money.

Update 1: In spite of a communication blackout ordinary Egyptians are managing to use old (and newer) technologies to get around the government clampdown, as IT News reports:

“Egyptian activists have relied on landlines and amateur radios to communicate since the country’s internet connections were severed on Friday.

Despite network shutdowns and nationwide curfews, demonstrators continued to rally against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

Mubarak’s government appeared to have ordered the cessation of mobile and internet services last week, as online activists rallied supporters for a major demonstration on Friday.

To date, at least 125 people have been killed in violent protests across the nation. Sixty-eight were reportedly killed on Friday.

Besides the well-resourced few with direct satellite links to the internet, a majority of Egyptians remained offline.

Others were using services like Speak To Tweet, Jan25 Voices and amateur radio channels to communicate with the outside world.

Global net activist group, Telecomix, said its amateur radio efforts were aimed at “[carrying] health and welfare traffic from Egypt in the face of [a] total communications blackout”.

“Internet [not] working, police cars [burning],” the group received in Morse code on Friday.

On Saturday morning, it received the description: “dark skies, bloody [moon]”. “Everything is happening, everything we thought,” another message read.

Telecomix also compiled a list of 56kbps dial-up details that could be used to reach internet service providers in Norway, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the US. “

Written by modernityblog

30/01/2011 at 23:05

Brendon Lee O’Connell, Anti-Zionist Or Plain Racist?

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I can’t make my mind up about the Australian racist, Brendon Lee O’Connell:

“A man who posted a video of himself on the internet in which he refers to Judaism as a “satanic death cult” has been found guilty of six of the seven racial harassment charges brought against him.

Brendan Lee O’Connell has been found guilty of publishing racist material online after a two week trial which was centred around a video he made of himself arguing with Jewish man Stanley Keyser at a Friends of Palestine protest against the sale of Israeli oranges at a South Perth supermarket in 2009.

In the video O’Connell calls Jewish people racist and homicidal.

Written words super imposed over the footage include: “See how the lies roll off the Judiac’s tongue?” when Mr Keyser is speaking.

After the incident, which ends with O’Connell yelling at Mr Keyser to “get a good Jewish lawyer,” he went to the Bell Tower and filmed himself calling Judaism a “death cult.”

The jury took seven hours to reach the verdict of guilty on all but one of the seven charges which related to the video of the argument, the argument itself, and several blog posts. “

Is he just an Anti-Zionist or a Far Right bigot?

You might think that it would be easy to determine which is which.

I would hope that there should be clear blue water between Anti-Zionists and Far Right bigotry, but it’s not so clean cut when you examine the issues and people around the Brendan O’Connell case.

Firstly, he was arrested at a Friends of Palestine event against Israeli oranges in Perth.

Secondly, I had looked for a notice or something on the web, supposing that Friends of Palestine in West Australia would want to distance themselves from O’Connell, and only if you really, really search can you find something:

“Given members of Friends of Palestine WA are shown and identified in the video in question, we feel it is incumbent on you to point out to your readers that we as an organisation cannot be held responsible for the racist views expressed by a rogue individual who unfortunately happened to attend one of our protests.

Furthermore, we feel it is incumbent on you to make it known to your readers that we are unequivocally opposed to the vile racist views expressed by Mr O’Connell in his execrable video.”

That’s after the event, and Friends of Palestine in West Australia have an unforgivable taste for that nasty racist play, Seven Jewish Children.

Thirdly, the picture is further confused when you look at O’Connell’s main supporter, Jeff Kerr’s MySpace page, you see plenty of “anti-Zionist links”, for example, the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, James Petras, and palestineremembered.com

Fourthly, there is nothing on the main Australians for Palestine site, but there is a certain shared taste for some web material, Alan Hart’s, the well known racist, Steve Lendman, Jonathan Cook and Deir Yassin Remembered (which readers will remember is run by a Holocaust denier, Daniel A. McGowan).

Fifthly, Brendon O’Connell’s blogger profile suggests he likes a few racist sites, Michael Hoffman’s Revisionist Review and Whitelaw Towers, a White supremacists blog with a love of the Blood and Honour neo-Nazis.

He certainly gets a lot of support from the Far Right, and his friend’s main blog is littered with a mixture of “anti-Zionist” and Far Right links, e.g. Zundelsite and Adelaide Institute. Although, again, Alan Hart and Gilad Atzmon get a look in. Even Fred Toben, infamous Holocaust denier, lends O’Connell his support too.

Sixthly, scanning the earlier entries of O’Connell’s blog, before he passed it over to Jeff Kerr, it is clear he’s not playing with a full pack of cards.

O’Connell was an occasional poster on Indymedia, Perth for years. His posts and material there suggests that he’s clearly on the Far Right and that his antisemitic views are well known.

Finally, as J-Wire reports:

“An eye witness in Perth’s Distric Court told J-Wire: “O’Connell’s reaction was to shout ‘Free Palestine and Free Iraq and he said ‘Netanyahu will appear in the dock one day’.”

So it seems probable that Brendon O’Connell was a Far Right provocateur, who was swept along in all of the Anti-Zionist activities that went on. I can’t be 100% sure as there’s a lot of material to surf through, but that seems likely.

I do find it surprising that Anti-Zionists in Australia did not make more of an effort to distance themselves from O’Connell, and that they and his Far Right supporters often share a similar taste in reading material.

Irrespective of who Brendon O’Connell is and what weird racist views he holds, it is less than coincidental that outpourings of animus towards Israelis are frequently linked to anti-Jewish racism.

So often the two go hand in hand.

Maybe Australian Anti-Zionists should reflect on that fact.

PS: I would like to apologise to readers for including in some links to questionable sites, this was unavoidable in this instance.

Update 1: I should remind, those neo-Nazis, thickos and their mates (yes, you know who you are, eh ? Bill In Ohio), that I do not post your racist filth, as per my comments policy. Try reading it, if you can. Your filth will remain confined to the moderation queue.

The Last Days Of A Dictatorship.

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The pent-up rage, economic and social frustrations are coming out in Egypt, and understandably so.

They have suffered under Mubarak’s legalise dictatorship since 1981.

Economically, Egypt is backward and suffers from high unemployment.

Socially, there are many problems.

And dissent is not tolerated, as Egyptian bloggers have found out.

Still, with the breadth and nature of the uprising in Egypt I feel that Mubarak’s days are numbered and about time too. His regime has been kept in power by fiddled elections, police brutality, State repression, and the compliance and support of the West.

He’s clinging on to power furiously, as he knows the fate of many ex-dictators is to be shot.

But Mubarak could probably borrow a nice comfortable villa from his fellow despots in Saudi Arabia, and while out the rest of his life, there as others have done.

Written by modernityblog

28/01/2011 at 22:36

No Shots

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It is no surprise that the EDL are thick as well as being liars, but their latest grasp for sympathy is not going too well, as Nick Lowles describes events:

Even after Bedfordshire police concluded that no shots had actually be fired, were unsure of the ethnicity of the assailant and even questioned whether there had been a gun in the first place, Geller blogged with the headline: Muslim in Full Islamic Garb Attempts to Shoot and Kill EDL leader.

Geller has a problem with the truth. In fact, the woman is a complete nutter. Geller, like many Tea Partiers, expresses her racism as a “birther” – the racist conspiracy theory that claims president Obama is ineligible to be president, casting him as a non-white “other” and a non-American. In addition to claiming this Obama’s birth certificate is a “forgery,” she’s called president Obama a “third worlder and a coward” who’s “appeas[ing] his Islamic overlords.”

She has perpetuated the lie the President Obama is Muslim. Geller has referred to Obama as “The Muslim president.” Media Matters for America documented that Geller’s blog contains 267 posts tagged, “Muslim in the White House?” She’s gone as far as to seriously make the argument that Barack Obama is the illegitimate child of Malcolm X.

In addition to supporting the EDL, she has also defended Eugene Terre’Blanche, a founder of the white supremacist Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (or AWB). “

Geller is a well known EDL supporter and frankly off her trolley.

PS: Before any of her supporters feel like commenting please read my previous post, Anti-Muslim Bigots, Feck Off.

Update 1: If anyone is curious about Geller’s comments on the Terreblanche, they might do well to read Jeff Goldberg’s post or her comments via the Google cache:

“Monday, April 05, 2010

Every single headline calls Terreblanche a “white supremacist,” alluding to his position in the waning days of the apartheid government, thirty-odd years ago. But the real story here is not that Terreblanche was a “white supremacist” – if he really was (and I know how the left loves to throw around those labels). Whether he was or not, the man was brutally murdered, and I had to go through ten newspaper accounts to find out how he was murdered. The liberal media had to dehumanize him first. And not one newspaper account speaks of Black supremacism — yet that is the really important story in South Africa today. All I see in South Africa is Black supremacism. Terreblanche may have been a white supremacist, but he’s the dead one. “

Geller can’t even use Google to determine Terreblanche’s background and the neo-Nazi emblem of the AWB. Maybe the Nazi salutes given at his funeral might hint at the political thinking of AWB’s members?

Written by modernityblog

28/01/2011 at 19:36

Untold Stories.

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Written by modernityblog

27/01/2011 at 03:31

Posted in Uncategorized

In The Age of The Internet: More Racism At The Guardian.

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The Internet should aid research, it should enable people to be better informed, particularly those in the West, where it is more widespread.

Yet it is still possible to find educated journalists, with access to the Internet, who don’t know the basics.

Instead of Googling Carlos Latuff and realising that he has a propensity for publishing racist cartoons against Jews and Israelis, instead of doing that the Guardian decides to push his work.

Rather than familiarising themselves with Carlos Latuff’s racism, the Guardian becomes complicit.

Readers will remember that Carlos Latuff is notorious for his participation in the Iranian regime’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest.

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