ModernityBlog

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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." ”

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

A Better Venue.

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Professor David N Gibbs will be familiar to readers.

Previously, I courteously gave him a guest post, that was a mistake as I receive nothing but hassle and aggravation for my troubles.

Thankfully, it is not an error I intend to repeat.

Professor Gibbs is now using Louis Proyect’s blog.

Apparently, Louis Proyect is Professor Gibbs’ friend and his blog, Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist, is a far more suitable venue for Professor Gibbs’ writings.

I wish them well, they are ably suited.

Update 1: These are the relevant posts concerning Professor Gibbs:

Denial About Rwanda.

The Second Coming of Joe McCarthy: David Gibbs Responds to Hoare’s Criticisms

Denial In The West.

Apologies To Marko.

Professor Gibbs, Failure To Address The Issues.

A Scholar Replies To David N. Gibbs.

A Pompous Ass.

37 Million Americans And JP Morgan.

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JP Morgan are making big profits as Americans become poorer and unemployed:

“Take Indiana. JP Morgan gets 62 to 64 cents for each food stamp case handled monthly there. With 296,245 cases right now, that means the state is paying JP Morgan $183,672 a month on top of any other fees it collects.”

The Economic Collapse has more:

“JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes. Yes, you read that correctly. When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money. In the video posted below, JP Morgan executive Christopher Paton admits that this is “a very important business to JP Morgan” and that it is doing very well. Considering the fact that the number of Americans on food stamps has exploded from 26 million in 2007 to 43 million today, one can only imagine how much JP Morgan’s profits in this area have soared. But doesn’t this give JP Morgan an incentive to keep the number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program as high as possible?”

(H/T: Andrew Murphy)

Written by modernityblog

25/01/2011 at 23:38

The EDL’s Tommy Robinson on Newsnight, Almost.

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Enjoy!

(H/T: HOPE, not hate)

Written by modernityblog

25/01/2011 at 16:25

A Pompous Ass.

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Coming back after a few days away is refreshing, if only to see how others view matters.

I particularly appreciated Owen’s comment in this thread, as it seems to sum things up nicely:

“Owen 24/01/2011 at 15:25

What a pompous ass David Gibbs comes across as.

I asked him three questions, not unreasonable questions, in order to try and determine the substance of his position in relation to Srebrenica.

But he doesn’t choose to clarify.

Nor does he choose to deal with the criticism of his observation that the origins of the genocidal massacre at Srebrenica lay in the raids conducted by the defenders of the besieged enclave and not in the Strategic Objectives of the Bosnian Serb Assembly.

A historian so picky and choosy that he reserves the favour of his disclosing his position to the followers of Louis Proyect is hardly demonstrating a determined commitment to the public justification of his opinions.

When it comes to defending his take on historical events in the public forum the tenured professor has a lesson or two to learn from Marko Hoare’s robust willingness to face the music.” [My emphasis.]

I should remind readers that Dr. Hoare has produced another wide ranging critique, First Check Their Sources 3: The myth that ‘Germany encouraged Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia’.

EDL Supporters: Torrent of Racist Abuse.

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Lift a stone and some EDL supporter pops out, usually letting their mask slip, Wish FM reports:

“Three English Defence League supporters have been ordered to pay more than £350 each after being found guilty of subjecting rail passengers to serious racist abuse.

Tracey Hurley (33), Stuart Parr (28) and a 17-year old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court on 20 January for trial.

The court heard that, on Friday 25 June last year, the trio had attended an EDL march in Bradford and had been on their way home when they travelled from Manchester Victoria to Wigan on a Northern Rail service.

During the journey they became abusive and intimidating, subjecting several passengers to a torrent of racist abuse.

The abuse began when the three sang songs relating to the EDL and Taliban. At Salford Crescent an Asian man boarded the train and was immediately targeted by the group who shouted derogatory remarks about Allah to the man.

PC Tony McGibbon, of British Transport Police, said: “The abuse continued for some time and was directed at anyone on board the train who the three perceived to be anything other than white British.

“The behaviour of the three was offensive in the extreme, completely unacceptable and made everyone on the train feel incredibly uncomfortable.”

A passenger advised a member of rail staff who reported the behaviour of the three to BTP officers.
After witnesses were spoken to the three where arrested and interviewed.

During interviews they admitted having been at the EDL march and drinking heavily, but denied making any racist remarks or behaving in a racist manner.”

PS: ANYONE remotely tempted to defend the EDL should read my comments policy, again.

Update 1: My moderation queue is slowly filling up with stupid comments from dim witted EDL supporters, forget it, you and your comments ain’t going to see the light of day, now feck off.

Written by modernityblog

22/01/2011 at 00:39

University of Lincoln and Anti-Jewish Racism.

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Engage reminds us that Caryl Churchill’s squalid and racist theatrical production, Seven Jewish Children is still about.

This time the racism that exudes has found a foothold in academia, notably at the University of Lincoln’s School of Performing Arts and School of Humanities.

That’s rather surprising.

We like to think of academics as having considered views, an ability to see past the obvious, a subtle grasp of events or history, etc yet clearly that isn’t the case here.

I have covered this racist play before, but just in case any University of Lincoln staff drop by I will explain in note format why it is racist.

1. In contemporary society we generally consider something to be bigoted or racist if it applies negative stereotypes to certain ethnic or social groups.

2. For example, we can see such material in the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, and most intelligent people will acknowledge that.

3. Caryl Churchill does just that, in her play, Seven Jewish Children.

4. The obvious indicator to this racism is, the title.

5. Further, throughout the exchanges the play seeks to convey a negative stereotype of Jews.

6. All of that is irrespective of the author’s intent.

7. Therefore, anyone remotely objective would have to conclude that if a theatrical work is aimed at one particular (and only one) ethnic group and continues to portray them in a negative fashion, that it is racist, in effect.

8. Whatever excuse the author gives is beside the point, as the evidence shows the play to be racist in its negative message and content.

If that doesn’t do it, read Howard Jacobson:

“Quite simply, in this wantonly inflammatory piece, the Jews drop in on somewhere they have no right to be, despise, conquer, and at last revel in the spilling of Palestinian blood. There is a one-line equivocal mention of a suicide bomber, and ditto of rockets, both compromised by the “Tell her” device, otherwise no Arab lifts a finger against a Jew. “Tell her about Jerusalem,” but no one tells her, for example, that the Jewish population of East Jersusalem was expelled at about the time our survivors turn up, that it was cleansed from the city and its sacred places desecrated or destroyed. Only in the crazed brains of Israelis can the motives for any of their subsequent actions be found.

Thus lie follows lie, omission follows omission, until, in the tenth and final minute, we have a stage populated by monsters who kill babies by design – “Tell her we killed the babies by mistake,” one says, meaning don’t tell her what we really did – who laugh when they see a dead Palestinian policeman (“Tell her they’re animals… Tell her I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out”), who consider themselves the “chosen people”, and who admit to feeling happy when they see Palestinian “children covered in blood

Anti-Semitic? No, no. Just criticism of Israel.

Only imagine this as Seven Muslim Children and we know that the Royal Court would never have had the courage or the foolhardiness to stage it. I say that with no malice towards Muslims. I do not approve of censorship but I admire their unwillingness to be traduced. It would seem that we Jews, however, for all our ingrained brutality – we English Jews at least – are considered a soft touch. You can say what you like about us, safe in the knowledge that while we slaughter babies and laugh at murdered policemen (“Tell her we’re the iron fist now”) we will squeak no louder than a mouse when we are abused.”

Ken and Press TV.

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James Bloodworth has a fine post on Ken Livingstone’s ingratiation with Press TV.

Update 1: I have covered Press TV many times, but Jhate’s post on Press TV uses US anti-Semites as commentators explains it better than I could.

Update 2: Dieudonne on Press TV at the CST.

Update 3: Not forgetting Lady Renouf, neo-Nazis and PressTV.

Written by modernityblog

21/01/2011 at 02:41

Now That’s A Carnival Of Socialism.

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I once followed the Carnival of Socialism.

I thought it was a very good idea, to pick the best socialist thinking on the web and present it in a digestible format

Sadly, that aspiration has not always been met.

Whilst Shiraz Socialist’s 13th Carnival of Socialism on “Why is the left obsessed with the Middle East?” was amusing and suitably provocative, that hasn’t always been the case.

I finally gave up on CoS when Ahmadinejad’s racism was glossed over, which as all socialists should appreciate is unforgivable, read more on Carnival of Socialism And Ahmadinejad.

Whatever my past reservations about the CoS, Bob from Brockley has produced a cracking one, it is a nice balance between the immediate, the international and the interminable.

I would heartily recommend Carnival of Socialism no.51 to all my readers.

Written by modernityblog

20/01/2011 at 14:20

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